Background: When skin prick testing (SPT) young children with atopic dermatitis (AD) for suspected food allergy, we frequently found positive reactions with turnip rape (Brassica rapa) and oilseed rape (Brassica napus). We performed food challenge to examine whether these children react clinically to turnip rape.
Methods: A total of 1887 children were screened with SPTs for sensitization to turnip rape and oilseed rape. Twenty-eight children with clearly positive SPT (> or =5 mm) were first subjected to labial challenge with turnip rape seeds followed, if negative, by open oral challenge for up to 7 days. Twenty-five children with AD but negative SPT to turnip rape and oilseed rape served as controls.
Results: Two-hundred and six (10.9%) children had positive SPT to turnip rape and/or oilseed rape. Twenty-five (89%) of 28 children showed a positive challenge reaction to turnip rape. Seventeen reacted with labial whealing, and eight in oral challenge with facial urticaria, flare-up of AD or abdominal symptoms. All 25 control children remained negative in the labial challenge.
Conclusions: Turnip rape and oilseed rape seem to be new important food allergens in young children with AD. The modes of exposure to these allergens and the possible routes of sensitization remain to be established.