An 8-year-old boy developed fish and peanut allergies after receiving blood from a donor who happened to have those severe food allergies.
So how exactly does getting someone else’s blood make you suddenly allergic to certain foods?
According to, Dr. Julia Upton, study lead author and the boy’s allergist from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, she described the incident as a rare case. The culprit was a protein known as immunoglobulin E (IgE). She explained that donors can really pass their allergies during blood transfusion because their platelets contain the allergy-triggering antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE).
IgE is an antibody that, upon encountering certain foods, causes immune cells to release histamines that trigger an allergic reaction.
It just so happened that one of the blood products that the child received contained a lot of plasma from that donor. The plasma is where the antibodies are.”
The family found out that the boy had passive allergies, two weeks after the blood transfusion, after eating salmon and peanut butter. The boy was rushed to the emergency room after having serious allergic reactions. His lips were swollen, his face was red, and he had shortness of breath and low blood pressure.
Right away, we wondered what has happening that was different. Why would he all the sudden react to a food that he clearly has eaten for years?” says Dr. Upton to ABC News.
The doctors clarified that patients should not be worried too much because the allergies are not permanent. On the boy’s case, the allergies lasted for only a few months. They had to monitor and treat him with antihistamines until his blood tested negative of the antibodies.
Over time, since the boy’s own immune system did not replenish the food-specific IgE, he ‘outgrew’ the allergy,” as Dr. Sherry Fazan, an allergist and immunologist at North Shore-LIJ Health System in Great Neck, N.Y,told HealthDay News.
According to LiveScience, doctors explained that the blood products are usually pooled so there could be more than one donor for each bag. Thus, the boy’s case is extremely rare. They were able to trace the donor of the blood and prohibited him from making any future blood donations.
On the bright side, the boy can is now starting to eat anything he wants without having any allergic reaction.
He eats everything now. The last time I spoke to him with the family about this case was around 6 months ago, and his mom told me everything was great,” Upton said.
via Medical Daily