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Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol. 2004 Nov;36(9):326-9.

[The return of the prodigal child or allergy to ficus].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service de Médecine interne IV, Centre d'Allergie de l'Ouest Parisien, Hôpital Louis Mourier, 178 rue des Renouillers, Colombes 92700.


Ficus benjamina (FB), the weeping fig, belonging to the Moracea family, is now widely used as an indoor ornamental plant in houses and offices. Its latex can be responsible of IgE allergies : rhinoconjunctivitis, asthma, angiooedema, pruritus, anaphylactic shock. In some occupations such as gardeners, caretakers of plants, it can induce a contact urticaria. Most of these patients are atopics. We describe a case of non-occupational, indoor related rhinoconjunctivitis in a non-atopic patient. Prick-test and RAST to FB latex were positive and removal of the ficus plant resolved their symptoms confirming the etiologic role of the plant. The patient did not demonstrate sensitization to other common allergens (except weeds) involved in respiratory (latex of Hevea brasiliensis, mites...) and food allergies (negativity of the prick-tests for fig, avocado, banana, kiwi). Now, FB is a new hidden allergen in the house. Questionning for its presence and testing it should be considered; as it should be introduced in the standard prick-test panel.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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