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Recurrent angioedema due to lysozyme allergy.

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  • 1Department of Allergology, Infanta Cristina University Hospital, Badajoz, Spain.


A 54-year-old woman suffered an episode of dyspnea and edema affecting her eyelids, tongue, and lips a few minutes after intake of Lizipaina (bacitracin, papain, and lysozyme). She was treated with intravenous drugs and her symptoms improved within 2 hours. She had experienced 3 to 4 bouts of similar symptoms related to the ingestion of cured cheeses or raw egg. Specific serum immunoglobulin (Ig) E against lysozyme was present at a concentration of 0.45 kU/L, and no specific IgE was found against egg white and yolk, ovalbumin, or ovomucoid. Skin prick tests were positive with commercial extracts of egg white and lysozyme but doubtful with yolk, ovalbumin, and ovomucoid. Prick-to-prick tests with raw egg white and yolk gave positive results, but negative results were obtained with cooked egg white and yolk and 5 brands of cheese (3 of them containing lysozyme and the other 2 without lysozyme). Controlled oral administration of papain, bacitracin, and cheeses without lysozyme was well tolerated. We suggest that the presence of lysozyme in a pharmaceutical preparation, cured cheese, and raw egg was responsible for the symptoms suffered by our patient, probably through an IgE-mediated mechanism.

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