IgE Food Allergy

  • Sebastian Sylvestre
  • Doerthe Adriana AndreaeEmail author
Living reference work entry


Food allergy has become a significant public health burden over the past decades with an ever increasing prevalence. Many different pathophysiologic mechanisms have been investigated and discussed. The current consensus on development of food allergies is the alteration of clinical and immunologic tolerance to foods. Pre- and postnatal exposures and other factors both in the patient and also the environment seem to be the main drivers in this altered immune state resulting in sensitization to food proteins.

Food allergies can present as many different entities. Pure IgE-mediated allergies are IgE-mediated food allergies or pollen-food cross-reactivities, while atopic dermatitis and eosinophilic esophagitis represent a mixed IgE-/cell-mediated sensitivity to food allergens.

Symptoms of adverse reactions to food allergens manifest in most organ systems, including the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system, and the skin. Often more than one organ system is affected with anaphylaxis being the most severe and potentially resulting in death.

Clinical history, specific serum IgE testing and skin prick testing are the mainstay in diagnosis of food allergies. Novel diagnostic tools utilizing advances and availability of recombinant allergens and cellular and genetic testing are being investigated.

While novel treatment approaches that are focusing on achievement of tolerance or sustained unresponsiveness are being studied on the cellular level and in clinical trials, the mainstay of management remains strict avoidance of the food allergen.


IgE-mediated food allergy Dual allergen exposure hypothesis Anaphylaxis Sustained unresponsiveness Food challenge proven food allergy 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PediatricsPenn State Children’s HospitalHersheyUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Allergy/ImmunologyPenn State Children’s HospitalHersheyUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Tim Craig
    • 1
  • Massoud Mahmoudi
    • 2
  1. 1.Penn State UniversityHersheyUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA

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