Selective hypersensitivity to cefazolin and contribution of the basophil activation test

Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017 Mar;49(2):84-87.


The authors present 2 case reports of selective cefazolin hypersensitivity: a 49 year-old woman with a history of two perioperative reactions (urticaria and severe anaphylaxis) after the use of rocuronium, propophol and cefazolin; a 36 year-old pregnant woman who developed facial erythema, lips angioedema and hypotension immediately after administration of ropivacain, sufentanil, cefazolin, oxytocin and ephedrine. In both cases, intradermal skin tests were positive for cefazolin. A basophil activation test was performed for cefazolin, which was positive in one patient. Oral challenge tests with penicillin, amoxicillin and other cephalosporins were negative. This selective hypersensitivity to cefazolin may be associated with a R1-side chain different from other beta-lactams.

Keywords: R1 side chain; basophil activation test; cefazolin; selective hypersensitivity.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anaphylaxis / chemically induced*
  • Anaphylaxis / diagnosis
  • Anaphylaxis / immunology
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / immunology
  • Basophil Degranulation Test*
  • Basophils / drug effects*
  • Basophils / immunology
  • Cefazolin / adverse effects*
  • Cefazolin / immunology
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intradermal Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Urticaria / chemically induced*
  • Urticaria / diagnosis
  • Urticaria / immunology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Cefazolin