Clinical characteristics of melon (Cucumis melo) allergy.Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2003; 91(3):303-8AA
Although melon is a frequent allergy-eliciting fruit, allergic reactions to melon have rarely been reported.
To evaluate and describe the clinical characteristics of melon allergy in melon-allergic patients.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
We evaluated patients allergic to melon and a control group of patients allergic to pollen. The diagnosis of melon allergy was based on a convincing clinical history, positive skin test results (prick-by-prick test), and positive results on oral challenge tests to melon.
A total of 161 patients were included in the study: 66 in the melon allergy group and 95 in the pollen control group. The melon allergy group included 35 female and 31 male patients with a mean age of 26.6 +/- 2.7 years (range, 5-61 years). Although all patients had oral symptoms, 13 (19.7%) of the patients had extraoral symptoms and none experienced generalized urticaria or anaphylaxis. Excluding other Cucurbitaceae fruits, peach, fig, and kiwi most frequently elicited positive skin test results and symptoms. Up to 23% of melon-allergic patients had a concomitant latex sensitization. Melon allergy was especially linked to pollen allergy, since all the melon-allergic patients were also allergic to pollen. Some differential features with respect to the pollen allergy control group were a higher prevalence of asthma (odds ratio [OR], 2.13; P < 0.05) and a statistical increase in the frequency of sensitization to several tree and weed pollens, including Ulmus (OR, 42.8) and Ambrosia (OR, 22.4).
The most important conditions linked to melon allergy are pollen allergy (100%), allergy to other nonrelated fruits, mainly peach (up to 62%), and latex sensitivity (up to 23%). Some differential features of the pollinosis in melon allergy were a higher prevalence of asthma and a higher frequency of sensitization to several weed and tree pollens.