About 10% of people report a penicillin allergy, but only 10% of them actually have it. The other 90% who thought they had an allergy are just fine. What's going on?
This allergy test, a sometimes unpleasant childhood right of passage, may be a thing of the past someday. New research shows that a urine test can determine if a person has an allergy to a specific substance.
Peanut allergy is among a parent's worst nightmares — a child is at constant risk of life-threatening reactions. But relief is likely on the way. Australian researchers found that their protocol to desensitize allergic children was effective in many for 4 years after treatment had ended.
On a recent trip, a flight attendant announced that a passenger had a severe peanut allergy and if anyone had food containing peanuts that it be stored away for the entire flight. The apparently widespread belief that re-circulated peanut-tainted air can harm unsuspecting children is wrong, and based on several myths.
Peanut allergies range from inconvenient to potentially fatal. The cause is unknown, but it's likely to involve a combination of immunogenetic and environmental factors. For the latter, research suggests peanut allergies are more common among Westerners, possibly because they eat dry roasted peanuts while Asians eat boiled ones.
In an effort to understand how cow's milk allergies (CMA) form, an interdisciplinary team of scientists investigated if there's a link between certain kinds of sugars found in a mother's breast milk and the presence of CMA in her infant.
Dr. A. Zuger's NYTimes column presents an excellent discussion of penicillin allergies, both real, exaggerated, and severe and how to deal with them.