Effects of Cow's Milk Components, Goat's Milk and Sheep's Milk Sensitivities on Clinical Findings, and Tolerance Development in Cow's Milk Allergy

Sisli Etfal Hastan Tip Bul. 2021 Sep 24;55(3):391-397. doi: 10.14744/SEMB.2020.90688. eCollection 2021.


Objective: Cow's milk (CM) contains some proteins capable of causing an allergic reaction in a sensitized individual and one of the most common causes of food allergy in childhood. Most of the patients will develop tolerance by the age of 3. In this study, we aimed to evaluate sensitivity to CM allergen components as well as goat's milk (GM) and sheep's milk cross reactions in cow's milk allergic (CMA) patients and to figure out the risk factors for tolerance non-development.

Methods: This is a retrospective cross-sectional study including 66 patients for IgE-mediated CMA with mean age of 38 months. We evaluated the patients in two groups: Group 1 (n=50): Patients who have no tolerance in oral food challenge test; Group 2 (n= 16): Patients who were found tolerant to CM after elimination diet. Cow's milk-spesific IgE(sIgE), α-lactalbumin(ALA)-sIgE, β-Lactoglobulin(BLG)-sIgE, casein-sIgE, goat's milk-sIgE, sheep's milk-sIgE, skin prick tests(SPTs) with CM and GM, eosinophils in peripheral blood were all compared between two groups.

Results: In the whole group, goat's milk-sIgE and sheep's milk-sIgE were positive in 84.8% and ALA-sIgE, BLG-sIgE, casein-sIgE were positive in 69.7%, 62.7%, 77.3% of the patients, respectively. Two groups were similar in terms of age at onset and diagnosis, gender, median elimination period, total IgE levels, cow's milk-sIgE and eosinophilia (p>0.05). Mean wheal diameters of CM and GM in SPT (p<0.001), goat's milk-sIgE (p=0.03), sheep's milk-sIgE (p=0.01) were significantly higher in Group 1. Cow's milk-sIgE showed a positive correlation with total IgE (p=0.001), eosinophilia percentage (p=0.04), CM wheal diameter in SPT (p=0.001), casein-sIgE (p<0.001), goat's milk-sIgE (p<0.001), sheep's milk-sIgE (p<0.001) in Group 1. Patients with respiratory symptoms and history of anaphylaxis had higher cow's milk-SPT, cow's milk-sIgE, casein-sIgE, goat's milk-sIgE, sheep's milk-sIgE levels(p<0.05). Gastrointestinal and skin symptoms showed no relation with laboratory findings. Any patient with a history of anaphylaxis did not develop tolerance.

Conclusions: As with cow's milk-sIgE levels and high induration diameters in SPT; high casein-sIgE, sheep's milk-sIgE and goat's milk-sIgE levels are also risk factors for persistence of CMA. Anaphylaxis, as a first reaction, may also be a risk factor. High cow's milk-sIgE, casein-sIgE, sheep's milk-sIgE, goat's milk-sIgE levels are associated with respiratory symptoms.

Keywords: Caseins; children; cow’s milk allergy; goat’s milk; sheep’s milk; whey proteins.