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Allergy. 1996 Oct;51(10):712-8.

Birch pollinosis and atopy caused by apple, peach, and hazelnut; comparison of three extraction procedures with two apple strains.

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  • 1Department of Allergology, University Hospital Dijkzigt, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


This study aimed, first, to study the prevalence in The Netherlands of atopy caused by apple, peach, and hazelnut in patients with tree pollinosis, and, second, to compare three extraction procedures for skin prick testing with two different apple strains. Skin prick tests and RAST were performed on 79 consecutive patients with tree pollinosis, visiting the department of allergology during spring 1995. In skin prick tests, we used three different extracts (juice, freeze-dried extract, and low-temperature acetone powder extract) of two apple strains, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith. Case histories for apple, peach, and hazelnut were positive in 35 (44.3%), 23 (29%), and 35 (44.3%) patients, respectively. More than two-thirds of the patients had symptoms characteristic of oral allergy syndrome. Skin prick tests for apple, peach, and hazelnut were positive in 51 (64.6%), 61 (77.2%), and 71 (89.9%) patients, respectively. Granny Smith showed more positive skin reactions and a better agreement with clinical history than Golden Delicious, and juice was superior to the two other extraction procedures for both apple strains. RAST for apple, peach, and hazelnut was positive in 53 (68.8%), 13 (16.9%), and 31 (40.3%) patients, respectively. Concordance between skin prick test and case history was found in 77%, 52%, and 54%, for apple, peach, and hazelnut, respectively. We found a high percentage of concurrence of clinical allergy to birch pollen and apple, peach, and hazelnut, confirmed by both skin prick testing and RAST. Approximately half of these patients had symptoms (especially oral allergy syndrome) after eating these products. We also found an easy extraction procedure (juice extract) suitable for apple skin prick testing, superior even to freeze-dried extraction or the low-temperature acetone powder technique.

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