, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 339-345

Sesame Seed Food Allergy

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Abstract

The number of reports regarding sesame seed food allergy (SFA) has increased significantly worldwide over the past two decades, either due to a genuine increase in SFA or merely an increase in its awareness. Its prevalence is difficult to estimate due to the lack of well designed prospective population-based studies. Based on the available data, we estimate that SFA affects 0.1–0.2 % of the population, in areas where the food is available. Albeit this prevalence appears to be relatively low, it is approximately one-half of that of persistent cow’s milk allergy. While only one fatality has been reported, the significant number of SFA patients presenting as anaphylaxis indicates the potential risk. Many reports based the diagnosis of SFA on sensitization criteria alone, particularly amongst atopic dermatitis patients. Elimination of sesame from the diet of these children utilizing such criteria is not justified, and may even increase the risk for developing SFA.