Association between fruit and vegetable allergies and pollen-food allergy syndrome in Japanese children: a multicenter cross-sectional case series

Asia Pac Allergy. 2020 Jan 31;10(1):e9. doi: 10.5415/apallergy.2020.10.e9. eCollection 2020 Jan.


Background: Recently, the prevalence of food allergies during childhood is increasing, with fruits being common allergens. However, data on allergens that cause fruit and vegetable allergies and pollen-food allergy syndrome (PFAS) in childhood are relatively few. This study aimed to examine the allergens in fruit and vegetable allergies in pediatric patients and to determine the association between fruit and vegetable allergies and PFAS.

Objective: This study aimed to examine the current status of fruit and vegetable allergies in Japanese children.

Methods: This was a multicenter case series observational study. The participants included children aged <15 years who developed allergic symptoms after eating fruits and vegetables and subsequently received treatment in the Pediatric Department of 6 hospitals in the Osaka Prefecture in Japan during the study period from August 2016 to July 2017. Participants' information was obtained using a questionnaire, and data were obtained by performing several types of allergy tests using blood samples.

Results: A total of 97 children (median age, 9 years; 56 males) were included in the study. Apple was the most common allergen, followed by peach, kiwi, cantaloupe, and watermelon. A total of 74 participants (76%) exhibited allergic symptoms due to PFAS; moreover, pathogenesis-related protein-10 (PR-10) was the most common allergen superfamily. On the contrary, in the group where neither PR-10 nor profilin was sensitized, kiwi and banana were the most common allergens, and the age of onset was lower than that in the PFAS group. Specific antibody titer was significantly associated with Birch for Bet v1 and latex for Bet v2 (r = 0.99 and r = 0.89).

Conclusion: When we examine patients with fruit and vegetable allergies, we should first consider PFAS even in childhood specifically for children greater than 4 years old.

Keywords: Child; Clinical study; Food hypersensitivity; Multicenter study; Pollen allergy; Rhinitis.