IgE antibodies to foods are not a feature of cystic fibrosis

Hum Nutr Clin Nutr. 1986 Jul;40(4):255-8.


It has been suggested that patients with cystic fibrosis have abnormal immune responses to foods. We have measured IgE antibodies to inhalants and foods (by RAST) in 105 patients with cystic fibrosis aged between 8 months and 28 years. Serum IgE was elevated (greater than 180 kU/l) in 21 patients. In 43, IgE antibodies were detected in serum. The majority of positive results were with house-dust mite, grass pollen or Aspergillus. Only four of the patients had a positive RAST to a food--one to milk, one to wheat and two to egg. On the basis of high serum IgE or positive RAST results, 44.8 per cent of the patients were atopic and the frequency of atopy was age-related, being higher in patients aged 4 years or more. However, the presence of food antibodies was unrelated to age. This study confirms the high prevalence of atopy in patients with cystic fibrosis but unequivocally demonstrates that the presence of IgE antibodies to foods in their serum is rare.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Antigens / immunology
  • Aspergillus / immunology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cystic Fibrosis / complications
  • Cystic Fibrosis / immunology*
  • Dust
  • Eggs / adverse effects
  • Food Hypersensitivity / complications
  • Food Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology*
  • Infant
  • Milk / adverse effects
  • Mites / immunology
  • Pollen / immunology
  • Skin Tests
  • Triticum / adverse effects


  • Antigens
  • Dust
  • Immunoglobulin E