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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1995 Jun;95(6):1215-20.

Relationship between oral challenges with previously uningested egg and egg-specific IgE antibodies and skin prick tests in infants with food allergy.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Parma, Italy.



Positive skin prick test (SPT) and RAST reactions to egg that had never previously been ingested have been observed in infants with food allergy. The likelihood of having clinical hypersensitivity reactions when egg is first ingested and the predictive value of SPT and RAST remain to be elucidated.


We investigated the relationship between egg-specific IgE antibodies and positive SPT reaction to egg, and the development of clinical hypersensitivity on the first exposure, in infants with food allergy.


The patient group consisted of 21 infants with food allergy and positive SPT and/or RAST reaction to egg, which they had never previously ingested; the control group of 12 infants had food allergy and negative test results. All subjects underwent double-blind placebo-controlled food challenges with egg.


Thirteen of 21 patients (61%) and one of 12 control subjects (8%) had positive reactions to challenges (p < 0.01). Thirteen positive reactions to challenges (93%) elicited immediate symptoms. Late-onset eczema occurred in two children. SPT results showed a high sensitivity (0.92) and negative predictive accuracy (0.92), whereas specificity (0.57) and positive predictive accuracy (0.61) were poor. RAST did not have any diagnostic advantage over SPT.


In infants with food allergy SPT with egg may be helpful in predicting which patients will react to the first exposure.

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