Can Organ Recipients Inherit Donor's Food Allergies?

A few years ago, a 47-year-old Toronto woman received a lifesaving double-lung transplant. After the transplant, she suffered four anaphylactic attacks. Her doctors were stumped since she had never had any serious allergic reactions before.

The mystery was solved after her physician discovered that the organ donor was a twelve-year-old boy who had suffered from an acute peanut allergy. They also realized that the woman's four allergic reactions had happened after she ate foods that may have contained peanuts. It appears that the donor's allergy had been transferred to the woman along with his lungs, reports the National Post.

How could this happen? Dr. Susan Tarlo, an allergy and asthma expert who treated the woman, said "When it’s transplanted, everything in the organ is transplanted." There are also reports of transplant recipients becoming allergic to seafood, bananas, penicillin, and pet dander, among other allergens.

While such instances are unusual, a few recent cases have led medical experts to call for screening potential organ donors for serious allergies. Until now, that piece of their medical background has been largely ignored. Health Canada has drafted guidelines calling for doctors to ask potential donors about their history of allergic reactions.

If a transplant recipient is not informed of the donor's allergies, they may be "unaware of the risk for potentially life-threatening hypersensitivity reactions,” says Health Canada in urging for this new screening process. The new guidelines do not exclude those with serious allergies from becoming organ donors, but do call for doctors to advise organ recipients to undergo allergy testing and, if necessary, to avoid specific allergens.

Source: National Post
Photo: Pixabay

Latest Community Discussions

Peanut Free Store

More Articles

Which candy bars are safe for those with peanut allergies? Those without allergies are accustomed to...

Are you looking for peanut-free candies as a special treat for a child with...

For those who have wondered whether airport x-ray machines negatively affect epinephrine auto-injectors, the folks at Food Allergy Research &...

Molecular allergy component testing identifies the specific food or environmental proteins triggering a person’s allergic reactions. Component...

An epinephrine auto-injector provides an emergency dose of epinephrine (adrenaline) to treat life-threatening allergic reactions. Those who have...

Misunderstanding the significance of food allergy test results can lead to unnecessary anxiety and dietary changes. The three tests used most...

It can be easy to overlook the presence of nut allergens in non-food items because the allergens are often listed by their Latin or scientific...

Tree nuts and peanuts are distinctly different. An allergy to one does not guarantee an allergy to the other. Peanuts are considered legumes and...

Welcome to the complex world of being a Peanut Allergy Parent. Get ready to proofread food labels, get creative with meals, and constantly hold an...

Take control of your food allergies! Get results in ten days and change your life forever! If you are tempted to use a home testing kit...

What can you eat if you can't eat peanut butter? Fortunately for people with a peanut allergy, there...

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, one out of five people in the U.S. has an allergy. Because there is a...

Eliminating peanut butter is the best way to handle a rash caused by this food

If your baby or toddler develops a rash caused by peanut...

Nearly all infants are fussy at times. But how do you know when your baby's crying means something wrong? Some babies are excessively fussy...

For those who don't have experience with peanut allergies, going 'peanut-free' often seems as easy as avoiding peanut butter sandwiches and bags...

A new study shows that there may be a link to peanut ingestion in pregnant mothers and peanut allergy in their children.

Dr. Scott Sicherer...

When people think of nut allergies, they tend to think of peanuts. In fact, a sizable number of people are allergic not to peanuts (which are...

Cakes are a central part of many celebrations, from kids' birthdays to weddings. For those with severe ...

Are you looking for a high-protein snack that you can take with you? If you are allergic to peanuts, this is harder than you might think. Peanuts...

If you or a family member are allergic to peanuts, eating dinner out can pose a significant risk. Even if the menu item does not contain...