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A lurking threat: transfer of peanut allergy through peripheral blood stem cell transplantation

08 Feb 2016

Background:
There exist several reports of atopy and allergen-specific IgE-mediated hypersensitivity transferred by bone marrow transplantation, and it has been concluded that the transfer of allergic reactivity results from adoptive transfer of IgE-producing donor-derived B- and/or plasma cells. To the best of our knowledge we report the first case of peanut allergy after PBSCT.Case PresentationA 55-year-old anciently non allergic man with secondary acute myeloid leukemia (AML) received an allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation from a matched unrelated donor following reduced-intensity conditioning. On day 32 after PBSCT, while still on prophylactic systemic immunosuppression, the patient noticed a first episode of angioedema with swelling of the nasal and oral mucosa 30 min after consuming peanut puffs. In a second episode, eight months after PBSCT, he again developed angioedema, generalized pruritus and nausea within minutes after eating biscuits containing hazelnut and peanut. Moreover, after topical application of a peanut oil-containing ointment, the patient experienced facial erythema and angioedema. Nine months after PBSCT an evaluation for peanut allergy revealed a highly increased specific IgE to peanut of 75.9 kU/l. Accordingly, skin prick tests for peanut extract were also positive. In consequence, the patient was counseled to strictly avoid peanut-related products, and provided with an emergency set. No adverse allergic events have occurred since for an observation time of 15 months after PBSCT. The stem cell donor was contacted and confirmed intolerance to peanuts. His specific serum IgE pattern nine month after PBSCT harvest was analysed and showed similar sensitization profiles compared to those of the transplant recipient.
Conclusions:
Because of the close temporal association between the onset of allergic symptoms in the PBSC recipient it is reasonable to assume that the acquired peanut allergy had been transferred from the donor to the recipient by the PBSC graft.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in World Allergy Organization Journal