Cross Reaction between Hen Eggs and Bird Eggs in Patients with Egg Allergy Based on Skin Prick Test, Specific IgE and Oral Food Challenge

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Pediatrics, Allergy Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Introduction: As some children have allergies to egg as an important food source, finding the right alternative is essential. To date, the interaction between other birds’ eggs and hen eggs has not been investigated in Iran. Because of the common usage of eggs from birds other than hens in Iran, the present study aimed to compare hens’ eggs with the eggs of other birds.
Method: In this case-control study, 70 children who had referred to our allergy clinic were evaluated. In patients who had a history of egg allergy, Skins Prick Test (SPT) and specific IgE Ab analyses were done, and then an Oral Food Challenge (OFC) was performed. Patients with egg allergy underwent SPT with eggs from birds such as turkey, goose, duck, quail, partridge, and pigeon.
Results: From among the 40 patients with egg allergy, 8 patients passed the OFC. The greatest cross-reactions were seen in turkey white egg and quail yolk egg extracts with 82.5% and 90% respectively. The least cross-reactions were reported in pigeon yolk egg and pigeon white egg with 30% and 37.5% respectively and partridge white egg and partridge yolk egg with 47.5% and 67.5% respectively. Among patients who had negative SPT with partridge egg (N=3), one patient passed and two failed the OFC. Three of the patients who had negative pigeon SPT (N=5) passed the OFC with pigeon egg.
Conclusion: In conclusion, turkey, goose, duck, and quail eggs cannot be used as an alternative to hen eggs. Therefore, only partridge or pigeon eggs can be considered as a suitable alternative to hen eggs.