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Keywords:

  • anaphylaxis;
  • egg hypersensitivity;
  • egg white;
  • egg yolk;
  • urticaria;
  • vaccination

Egg allergy is one of the most common food allergies in infants and young children. The great majority is not life-threatening and management involves exclusion of egg from the diet and regular review with the expectation that the majority of children will outgrow the allergy by school age. Judgment is required as to when the dietary elimination of egg is no longer required. This decision may be helped by demonstrating loss of sensitivity by skin prick or specific IgE testing and in some cases a supervised food challenge. Particular issues in management arise with more severe, potentially life-threatening reactions, with immunization with vaccines prepared in eggs, with the diagnosis of egg hypersensitivity as a cause of delayed exacerbations of eczema which can be non-IgE mediated, and in deciding whether a child can be allowed to ingest small amounts of cooked egg through egg-containing foods while continuing to avoid raw egg or larger amounts of whole egg. Cases which illustrate these issues are presented.