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Immunology

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Abstract

The concept of forbidden foods that should not be eaten goes back to the Garden of Eden and apart from its religious meanings it may also have foreshadowed the concept of foods that can provoke adverse reactions. Thus we could say that allergic diseases have plagued mankind since the beginning of life on earth. The prophet Job was affected by a condition that following the rare symptoms described by the Holy Bible might be identified as a severe form of atopic dermatitis (AD). The earliest record of an apparently allergic reaction is 2621 B.C., when death from stinging insects was first described by hieroglyphics carved into the walls of the tomb of Pharaoh Menes depicting his death following the sting of a wasp. In 79 A.D., the death of the Roman admiral Pliny the Elder was ascribed to the SO2-rich gases emanating from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Hippocrates (460–377 B.C.) was probably the first to describe how cow’s milk (CM) could cause gastric upset and hives, proposing dietetic measures including both treatment and prevention for CM allergy.

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