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Eur J Dermatol. 2003 Jan-Feb;13(1):10-5.

Vaccine allergy and pseudo-allergy.

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Pediatric Pulmonology & Allergy Service, Sick Children Hospital, 149, rue de Sèvres, 75015-Paris, France.


Allergic and pseudo-allergic reactions to vaccines frequently involve the skin, and can be generalized systemic symptoms (urticaria/angioedema, serum sickness, flares of eczema) or localized at the sites of vaccination (persistent nodules, abcesses, granulomas). Diagnosis of Arthus-type reactions is based on clinical history and specific IgM/IgG anti-toxoid determination. For other local reactions, diagnostic value of non-immediate responses in skin tests varies with clinical symptoms and substances involved. Immediate responses in skin tests and specific IgE determination have good diagnostic and/or predictive value in anaphylaxis and immediate/accelerated urticaria/angioedema to toxoid-, pneumococcus-, and egg- and gelatin-containing vaccines. Diagnosis of reactions to dextran in BCG is based on specific IgM/IgG determination. Most non-immediate generalized reactions result from non-specific inflammation, except for gelatin-containing vaccines, but the diagnostic value of immuno-allergological tests with the vaccines and gelatin are controversial. Withholding booster injections is advised if specific IgM/IgG levels are high. If the levels are low, sequential injections of vaccines containing a single vaccinating agent are usually tolerated. However, injections of the vaccine should be performed using a " desensitization " procedure in patients reporting anaphylaxis and immediate/accelerated urticaria/angioedema.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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