Birch pollen-related food as a provocation factor of allergic symptoms in children with atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome

Allergy. 2004 Sep;59(9):988-94. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2004.00493.x.


Background: Food allergy to cow's milk or hen's egg is a common problem in children with atopic eczema/dermatitis syndrome (AEDS) but the role of birch pollen-related food for the induction of allergic symptoms is still not clear.

Patients/methods: Twelve children (median age 5 years) with AEDS underwent an oral challenge with those birch pollen-related foods which were reported to induce no immediate symptoms, but were consumed on a regular basis. Total IgE and specific IgE to birch pollen, Bet v 1/2 and various birch pollen-related foods were determined.

Results: Seven of 12 children showed immediate and/or late eczematous reactions upon ingestion of birch pollen-related foodstuff. Four children showed a worsening of eczema 24 h upon oral challenge with a significant difference in SCORAD before and after challenge. There were no differences in terms of total IgE or birch pollen-specific IgE between children with a late eczematous response and non-reacting children.

Conclusions: Birch pollen-related food may induce allergic symptoms in children with AEDS who exhibit a sensitization to birch pollen. Oral challenge tests should be performed in those children who suffer from severe AEDS and who are highly sensitized to birch pollen allergens even in the absence of a history suggestive of food allergy.

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / immunology
  • Antigens, Plant
  • Betula / immunology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / etiology*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / complications*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Plant Proteins / immunology
  • Pollen / immunology*


  • Allergens
  • Antigens, Plant
  • Plant Proteins
  • Bet v 1 allergen, Betula
  • Immunoglobulin E