Food allergy (FA) is an important health problem. Every child faces with food allergens since birth and continues to meet them while growing up. Many foods do not affect the health during childhood, but they may provoke the development of sensitisation in older ages. The objective of this research was to study the characteristics of sensitisation to vegetables allergens in children depending on their ages.
patients and methods: The study included 682 children with FA. Among them there was evaluated the prevalence of sensitisation to most commonly used vegetables (potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, beets, squash, cabbage), and banana. All children were divided into groups according to age: 2–5 months, 6–18 months, 1.5–4 years, 4–10 years, 10 years and older. Sensitisation was assessed by the level of specific IgE antibodies.
Results There were detected the obvious age dynamics of the number of IgE-positive responses. In the first six months of a child’s life the most frequent sensitisation among the studied allergens was caused by potato (14%), while the response to other allergens was found not more than in 5% of children. In later life potato still have an importance as a sensitising agent, but the prevalence of a positive response slightly varies in different age ranges and remain within 18%–24%. The maximum prevalence detected until 1.5 years and then it gradually decreases to 18%.
There is a difference between potato and the other studied allergens sensitisation (banana, carrots, tomatoes, beets, squash, cabbage). There was steady increase of the number of sensitised patients since the introduction of these foods in the ration and during subsequent life. The leading role in the structure of the sensitisation belongs to carrot; the prevalence of this sensitisation progressively increases in children after one year of life (from 5% to 47%). There were similar trends for the banana and tomato allergens: sensitisation observed in 5% and 1% of children in the first six months of life, and then 37% and 30% of children in 10 years are sensitised respectively.
A less pronounced increase in the frequency of sensitisation were revealed in relation to pumpkin, beets and cabbage allergens. So children in first half of life had IgE-antibodies in 1%–3% of cases, and 15%–21% of children by the age of 10 years were sensitised to those allergens. It should be noted a marked association between the frequency of patients sensitisation to allergens of banana, carrots, tomatoes, and pumpkins, beets, cabbage, and broccoli and the patient‘s age periods was observed
Sensitisation to the potato prevails in children the first year of life. Sensitisation to banana take a prominent place in children aged 1.5–4 years. Children of 4–10 years old in equal number of cases have a positive response to the potatoes and carrots allergens, but the leading trigger of IgE-mediated allergy among the vegetables in children of over 10 years becomes the carrot.
Change of the leading trigger factors and increasing of positive responses to the carrot, tomato, banana allergens more than three times in children older than 1.5 years could be explained by active introduction of these food in children diet, and the consistency of the antibody response to these allergens could be explained by a high cross-reactivity of food plant allergens.
Conclusions Vegetables as a source of allergens take an important place in the children sensitising. There is a change of major triggers in children of different age ranges: from the leading role of potatoes to the predominance of patients which are sensitised to carrot, banana, and tomatoes. The frequency of sensitisation to all allergens in this study (except a potatoes) increases more than 3 times to 10 years old. Revealed the age characteristics of children sensitisation require a differentiated approach to the appointment of diagnostic tests and assays with the larger number of allergens at the subsequent age periods.
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