We report 8 infants with immediate hypersensitivity reactions to foods (milk, egg, or peanut), occurring at the first-known exposure. Each developed symptoms within the first hour, but these generally settled within 2 hours. Sensitisation to the food concerned was demonstrated by positive immediate allergen skin prick tests in every case. Symptoms experienced included irritability, erythematous rash, urticaria, angio-oedema, vomiting, rhinorrhoea, and cough. Five infants were being followed prospectively and 4 were clinically tolerant of the food by age 16 months. The most likely route of sensitisation was via breast milk. None of the infants experienced similar reactions while being breast fed, suggesting that the reaction was dose dependent. As 5 out of a group of 80 infants being followed prospectively developed an immediate reaction at their first known exposure to a food, this appeared to be a not uncommon presentation of food hypersensitivity in infancy.
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