Allergies, with Focus on Food Allergies, in Humans and Their Animals

  • Isabella Pali-SchöllEmail author
  • Ina Herrmann
  • Erika Jensen-Jarolim
  • Christine Iben


Hypersensitivity reactions to respiratory, ingested, percutaneously encountered, or injected allergens are classified according to different pathophysiological mechanisms. In the case that food causes the adverse reactions, most typically symptoms along the digestive route (oral allergy syndrome, angioedema, stomachache, vomiting, diarrhea) but also systemic reactions (urticaria/hives, asthma, up to life-threatening anaphylaxis) may occur. On the contrary, food intolerance reactions are disagreeable but do not elicit dangerous systemic reactions. Therefore, it is important to diagnostically differentiate between immune-mediated hypersensitivities and the more harmless food intolerances. Principally, food adverse reactions may occur in all mammalian species.

To single out the suspected food in children and animal patients the allergist is much dependent on collaboration with parents or owners, respectively. For diagnosis of food allergies in humans and animals, evaluation of the allergen-specific serum IgE levels, skin tests, and sometimes elimination diets and oral provocation tests are performed. Intolerances are diagnosed via hydrogen breath test or blood glucose test, in addition to elimination diets.

The offending food allergen must be avoided. Clinical tolerization strategies and experimental immunotherapies have shown promising results. Symptomatic treatment may include the prescription of emergency self-medication in patients at risk for anaphylaxis.

Whereas mostly murine models are used for developing more effective diagnostic and treatment options for food allergies, we propose the systematic inclusion of companion animals as spontaneous food allergy models in examination and diagnosis of allergy.


Atopic Dermatitis Food Allergy Food Allergen Food Intolerance Elimination Diet 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder


Adverse food reaction


Antigen-presenting cell


Double-blind placebo-controlled food challenge


High-affinity IgE receptor


Low-affinity IgE receptor


Food-induced atopic dermatitis





The work was supported by the Austrian Science Fund grant SFB F4606-B28.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabella Pali-Schöll
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ina Herrmann
    • 1
    • 3
  • Erika Jensen-Jarolim
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christine Iben
    • 4
  1. 1.Comparative Medicine, The interuniversity Messerli Research InstituteUniversity of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Medical University Vienna, University ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Institute of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research, Center of Pathophysiology, Infectiology and ImmunologyMedical University ViennaViennaAustria
  3. 3.Internal Clinic for Small AnimalsUniversity of Veterinary Medicine ViennaViennaAustria
  4. 4.Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds, Department for Farm Animals and Veterinary Public HealthUniversity of Veterinary Medicine ViennaViennaAustria

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