Anaphylactic reaction to lychee in a 12-year-old girl: cross-reactivity to latex?

Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2002 Feb;13(1):64-7. doi: 10.1034/j.1399-3038.2002.00032.x.


There are very few case reports on allergic reactions to lychee in the literature - so far only in adults. We report on a 12-year-old girl who developed swelling of lips, pruritus, generalized urticaria and dyspnea 30 min after eating a raw lychee. A second event occurred after eating a piece of cake covered with a fruit cocktail. All other foods were well tolerated. In infancy the girl had suffered from atopic dermatitis, which disappeared in childhood; for the previous 2 yr she had presented with seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis. Upon oral provocation, she developed restlessness, flush, generalized urticaria and inspiratory stridor 50 min after eating half a lychee. The diagnostic work up showed a clear positive skin prick test to raw lychee and specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) in serum to latex but not to lychee. In the cellular antigen stimulation test (CAST) carried out with lychee extracts in several concentrations, the same positive results could be found confirming an allergic reaction. Cross-reactivity of lychee to latex was shown by inhibition experiments using the UniCAP 100-system. In conclusion, it seems worthwhile considering the rare allergy to lychee in the case of unclear food-allergic reactions and lychee should be added to the list of foods cross-reacting with latex.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anaphylaxis / chemically induced
  • Child
  • Cross Reactions / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Latex Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Nut Hypersensitivity / complications*
  • Nut Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Skin Tests