Food Allergen Sensitisation Patterns in Omani Patients with Allergic Manifestations

Salem Al-Tamemi, Shafiq-Ur-Rehman Naseem, Munira Tufail-Alrahman, Mahmood Al-Kindi, Jalila Alshekaili


Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between food allergen sensitisation patterns and allergic manifestations in Omani patients and highlight the importance of specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) testing. Methods: This retrospective study included all patients referred due to allergic manifestations to the Sultan Qaboos University Hospital (SQUH), Muscat, Oman, from November 2012 to November 2016. Specific IgE blood testing was performed to determine sensitisation to common foods known to cause allergic reactions. Results: A total of 164 patients were referred to SQUH over the study period, with 35.4% presenting with one allergic manifestation, 48.8% with 2–3 and 15.9% presenting with more than three manifestations. There was a family history of allergies in 70.7% of patients. Eosinophil counts and total and specific IgE levels were elevated in 18.9%, 54.9% and 73.2% of patients, respectively. Patients demonstrated sensitisation to cow milk (47.6%), wheat (41.5%), chicken eggs (34.8%), mixed tree nuts (34.1%), lentils (33.5%), peanuts (32.9%), soy (32.3%), shrimp (23.2%) and fish (15.2%). Overall, 19.5% were sensitised to a single allergen, 14% were sensitised to 2–3 and 39.6% were sensitised to more than three allergens. Almost one-third (29.3%) of patients suffered from food-induced anaphylaxis, of which 85.4% were prescribed self-injectable adrenaline. Conclusion: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to describe food allergen sensitisation patterns among Omani patients with allergic manifestations. In conjunction with clinical symptoms, the correct interpretation of specific IgE levels is important to diagnose food allergies and make safe decisions about reintroducing foods.

Keywords: Hypersensitivity; Food Allergies; Anaphylaxis; Urticaria; Atopic Dermatitis; Asthma; Immunoglobulin E; Oman.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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