Camel milk: an alternative for cow's milk allergy in children

Allergy Asthma Proc. 2011 May-Jun;32(3):255-8. doi: 10.2500/aap.2011.32.3429.


Treatment of cow's milk allergy (CMA) in children includes avoidance of cow's milk and providing a milk substitute. This study was designed to determine whether CMA children could safely consume camel's milk as an alternative, and skin-prick test (SPT) to camel's milk could be a reliable tool in selecting them. Between April 2007 and February 2010, children with confirmed CMA seen at the Allergy-Immunology Clinic, Hamad Medical Corp., were enrolled into this prospective cohort study. Subjects had a detailed history and medical examination, complete blood count with differential count, total serum IgE, and specific IgE test and SPT to cow's milk. Patients with positive SPT and an elevated cow's milk-specific IgE had negative SPT to camel's milk. Of 35 children (23 male and 12 female children) aged 4-126 months (median, 21 months), 23 patients (65.7%) presented with acute urticaria, 17 (48.6%) with atopic dermatitis, 9 (25.7%) with anaphylaxis, 8 (22.9%) with failure to thrive, and 5 (14.3%) with chronic vomiting. Twenty-eight patients (80%) had family history of allergy. Twenty-six patients (74.3%) were breast-fed for ≤18 months. Mean white blood cell count was 9860.5 cells/μL, absolute eosinophil count was 1219 cells/μL, IgE was 682 IU/mL, and cow's milk-specific IgE was 22.01 kU/L. Only 7 patients (20%) had positive SPT to camel's milk and 28 (80%) were negative to camel's milk. All patients with negative SPT took camel's milk without any reactions. In children with CMA, SPT is a reliable clinical test in ruling out reactivity to camel's milk so these children could safely take camel's milk as an alternative nutrient.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Camelus / immunology
  • Cattle
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Milk / adverse effects*
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / diet therapy*
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / physiopathology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Skin Tests*
  • Urticaria


  • Immunoglobulin E