Transfer of peanut allergy from donor to recipient after liver transplant

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31 years old female with a history of contact dermatitis, eczema, allergic rhinitis, pernicious anemia, alopecia areata and latent tuberculosis was treated concurrently with methotrexate along with isoniazid and pyridoxine. Five months into the therapy she developed acute onset jaundice progressing into fulminant liver failure with altered mentation and worsening liver function tests. Extensive workup including serological and histopathological evaluation revealed drug-induced liver injury as the etiology of her liver failure and she underwent a successful orthotropic liver transplant. On post-transplant follow-up at four months, she was noted to have an allergic reaction consisting of a perioral rash and swelling (without anaphylaxis) after receiving a kiss from her significant other who had just eaten a peanut butter chocolate. She denied any history of allergic reaction to peanuts prior to the transplant. Percutaneous skin testing revealed immediate hypersensitivity to peanut, hazelnut, and pecan believed to be acquired newly post-transplant. Further investigation revealed that the organ donor had a documented history of systemic anaphylaxis from the peanut allergy and a positive peanut-specific IgE level. Also, another parallel solid organ recipient (lung transplant) from the same organ donor experienced a serious anaphylactic reaction after peanut exposure. This is a case of food (peanut) allergy transfer from the donor to the recipient after the liver transplant. This case highlights the importance of incorporating known donor allergies as a part of pre-transplant screening, given the potentially serious consequences from the transfer of allergies to a previously anergic recipient.




Aggarwal, A., Balogun, R., Carr, T. F., Desai, A. P., Jie, T., & Pan, J. J. (2019). Transfer of peanut allergy from donor to recipient after liver transplant. Annals of Hepatology, 18(3), 508–513.

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