UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Allergic reactions to emerging food allergens in Canadian children Soller, Lianne; La Vieille, Sebastien; Cameron, Scott B.; Mak, Raymond; Cook, Victoria E.; Gerdts, Jennifer; Chan, Edmond S.


Most Canadian food allergy data has focused on Health Canada’s priority food allergens. This study describes which non-priority (emerging) food allergens were most commonly reported by Canadian parents and categorized/confirmed by allergists. A secondary aim was to describe severity of allergic reactions to emerging allergens. Parents reported allergic reactions to emerging food allergens experienced by their child (< 18 years) which occurred in the past 12 months, and allergists categorized/confirmed them according to likelihood of IgE-mediated food allergy. Of 68 eligible patients completing the survey, the most commonly reported emerging allergens were fruits/vegetables (58.8%), seeds (22.1%), legumes (19.1%) and other (11.8%). Median allergist ranking for legumes was ‘probable’ IgE-mediated food allergy, ‘possible’ for seeds and fruits/vegetables, and ‘unlikely’ for other. Median reaction severity was mild for legumes, and moderate for seeds, fruits/vegetables, and other. Our study highlights that non-priority food allergens, namely legumes and seeds, can lead to probable/likely allergic reactions in Canadian children. These food allergens are increasing in popularity in the Canadian diet, which could lead to increasing reports of allergic reactions. More research is needed to confirm reports of reactions to emerging allergens, and to document their inclusion as ingredients in packaged foods.

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