Sesame seed allergy in children

Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol. 2004 Oct;36(8):300-5.


Background: Sesame seed allergy is becoming more common in childhood. The aim of this study is to define the clinical signs and the results of allergological work-up of this food allergy as well as the demographical data in children. Sesame seed allergy outcome is unknown.

Materials and methods: 14 children were recruited from 3 allergy centers in France. The diagnosis of food allergy was based on a convincing clinical history and positive skin prick tests and/or an elevated sesame specific IgE. Food challenge test was done when results of history and allergological work-up were conflicting. A reintroduction test was done when a child seemed to outgrow his (or her) food allergy.

Results: The median age at the beginning of sesame seed allergy was 5 years (range from 5 months to 16 years old). All patients reacted immediately after sesame seed consumption and presented as a first manifestation: edema (9 cases, 48%), urticaria (5, 27%), and one of each of the following symptoms (vomiting, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, asthma and anaphylactic shock). One patient had recurrent anaphylactic shocks and another an anaphylactic shock after subsequent sesame seed exposure; these 2 patients were asthmatic. The median of the wheal size was 5 mm (range 3 to 15 mm). The commercial sesame seed extract was less sensitive than the native seed. The median of sesame seed IgE was 5.58 kUA/L (range 0.35 to 100 kUA/L). The follow up lasted from a few months to 6 years. Three patients outgrew their food allergy. All of these patients showed a previous drop of sesame seed IgE and skin prick-tests became negative.

Conclusion: Sesame seed allergy is not very different than other food allergy. We reported the spontaneous outgrowing of sesame seed allergy without being able to define the predictive criteria for a good outcome.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Allergens
  • Anaphylaxis / etiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross Reactions
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Fabaceae / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Food Hypersensitivity / epidemiology
  • Food Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / epidemiology
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / epidemiology
  • Nuts / adverse effects
  • Plant Extracts
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seeds / adverse effects*
  • Sesamum / adverse effects*
  • Skin Tests


  • Allergens
  • Plant Extracts
  • Immunoglobulin E