STUDY: Significance of potato allergy in children with atopic eczema

The study aims to determine the prevalence and significance of potato allergens in children with atopic eczema with poor skin control despite therapy. Anecdotal evidence signifies that potato may be a very significant contributor to the exacerbation of the disease.

Many patients with atopic eczema follow a “hypoallergenic” dietary regime which has potato as one of the main sources of starch. Based on our anecdotal evidence, this study may result in a significant change in the dietary regime that severe atopic eczema patients may follow. Allergen characterisation may influence the diagnosis and management of atopic eczema.

Principle Investigator:

Dr HA Steinman
Food & Allergy Consulting & Testing Services (FACTS)

Collaborators:

Dr Mike Levin
Department of Paediatrics, Somerset Hospital

Prof Fatima Ferreira
Department of Molecular Biology, University of Salzburg, Austria.

Karen Horsburgh
Dietician, Food & Allergy Consulting & Testing Services (FACTS)

Dr Gavin Gottschalk
Head: Dept of Dermatology, Red Cross Children’s Hospital Allergy Clinic

Prof Cas Motala
Senior Consultant, Head of Red Cross Children’s Hospital Allergy Clinic

Objectives

- To determine the prevalence of positive skin prick tests and specific IgE to various potato allergens in atopic eczema subjects with poor skin control despite therapy
- To determine whether the prevalence of potato sensitivity (as defined above) is correlated with the severity of atopic eczema
- To determine if there is an association between latex (HevB7) sensitivity and potato sensitivity and/or eczema
- To determine whether a particular expression of atopic eczema is associated with sensitivity to potato or a specific potato allergen
- To determine the relevant potato allergens
- To determine the presence of positive acute clinical potato sensitivity on double blinded placebo controlled challenge
- To determine the effect of a potato-free diet on atopic eczema subjects

Envisaged outputs/outcomes:

Anticipated benefits to the subjects

The individual participant will be screened for potato allergy. The accompanying potato-elimination diet will confirm whether potato allergens play a role in the exacerbation of the individual’s atopic eczema, and if positive will enable dietary modification which may result in improvement in the individual’s condition and potentially a reduction or termination of treatment.

Significance of project

- Assessing whether potato is a major allergen in atopic eczema
- Assessment and characterisation of potato allergens associated with atopic eczema
- Potential characterisation of new potato allergens
- Evaluation whether specific potato allergens result in specific cutaneous expression of atopic eczema
- Evaluation whether potato varieties or cooking methods affect the allergenicity of potato
- Assessing the correlation between potato sensitivity and latex (HevB7) sensitivity.
- Many patients with atopic eczema follow a “hypoallergenic” dietary regime which has potato as one of the main sources of starch. Based on our anecdotal evidence, this study may result in a significant change in the dietary regime that severe atopic eczema patients may follow