Anaphylaxis Caused by Artisanal Honey in a Child

A Case Report

Margherita Di Costanzo; Nicoletta De Paulis; Silvia Peveri; Marcello Montagni; Roberto Berni Canani; Giacomo Biasucci


J Med Case Reports. 2021;15(235) 

In This Article


Food allergy is a common condition in childhood. Recent studies have suggested that the natural history of food allergy has changed in recent decades, with an increased prevalence, severity of clinical manifestations, and risk of persistence until later ages.[1–3] Honey allergy is a rare form of food allergy, especially in the pediatric age group. So far, only a few pediatric cases have been reported in the literature. Although it is a rare condition, it is important because ingested honey can cause from mild to severe allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis.[4] Additionally, due to the diverse health benefits of honey and bee products such as propolis and royal jelly,[5] increasing honey consumption in health food may increase the incidence of honey-related allergic reactions. Several studies have been performed to identify specific antigenic structures of honey.[6] Honey consists of flower nectar, pollens, and components derived from bees.[7] Honey allergy may be caused by pollen content (especially Compositae pollen) or bee-derived proteins. Also, royal jelly, a secretion of worker honey bee venom, is reported to cause anaphylaxis and asthma exacerbation.[8] Allergology workup of a patient with suspected honey allergy is not well defined. Herein, we report a rare case of anaphylaxis in a patient of pediatric age, caused by an artisanal honey product in a 5-year-old boy sensitized to Compositae pollen.