An observational study on outgrowing food allergy during non-birch pollen-specific, subcutaneous immunotherapy

Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2007;143(3):185-9. doi: 10.1159/000099310. Epub 2007 Feb 6.


Background: Birch pollen-specific immunotherapy (SIT) decreases allergy to foods containing birch pollen-homologous allergens. Cross-reactivity was also observed between plane tree pollen and some vegetable foods.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the outgrowing of food allergy by patients suffering from vegetable food allergy associated with plane tree pollinosis (rhinoconjunctivitis and/or asthma) during plane tree pollen SIT.

Methods: An observational and prospective study was conducted in 16 adult patients suffering from vegetable food allergy (hazelnut, walnut, lettuce, peach and cherry) and from plane tree pollinosis receiving plane tree pollen SIT for 1 year. Open oral challenges with the implicated food were performed before and after SIT. Blood samples were drawn for measurement of pollen- and food-specific IgE and IgG4 before and after treatment.

Results: Plane tree SIT resulted in a significant decrease in food allergy, since the mean food quantity provoking objective symptoms increased from 2.19 to 13.74 g (p < 0.05), and 6 of the 11 patients tolerated the highest level (25 g) of the challenged food after plane tree SIT. Laboratory data also showed a decrease in IgE levels and an increase in IgG4 levels after immunotherapy.

Conclusion: SIT with plane tree pollen has a positive impact on food allergy in plane tree pollen-allergic subjects.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Allergens / administration & dosage
  • Betula / immunology
  • Cross Reactions / immunology
  • Desensitization, Immunologic* / methods
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Male
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / immunology
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / therapy*


  • Allergens
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Plant Extracts
  • Plant Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin E