Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome caused by fish and/or shellfish in Italy

Stefano Miceli Sopo, Serena Monaco, Laura Badina, Simona Barni, Giorgio Longo, Elio Novembre, Serena Viola, Giovanna Monti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: The study describes the demographic features, culprit foods, clinical features and outcomes for children presenting with acute fish and/or shellfish food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) in four Italian paediatric allergy centres. Methods: A retrospective/prospective study was undertaken. All children diagnosed with fish or shellfish FPIES were enrolled. The diagnosis of FPIES was based on Sicherer's or Miceli Sopo clinical criteria. Skin prick tests (SPT) were performed in all patients, at the time of diagnosis and prior to OFC. Results: Seventy children were enrolled. Mean age at first episode was 14 months (range 6-46 months); mean age at diagnosis was 34 months (range 6-164 months). Sole and cod were the fish most commonly implicated. Fifty-seven of 70 (81%) children had FPIES exclusively to fish, 37 of 57 (65%) children had single-fish FPIES, 20 of 57 (35%) multiple-fish FPIES, nine of 70 (13%) presented adverse reactions exclusively to shellfish, and four of 70 (6%) presented adverse reactions to both fish and shellfish. Only four (5.7%) children presented episodes of acute FPIES with different foods (2 to cow's milk, 1 to egg, 1 to beef); in all cases, onset was prior to that of fish or shellfish FPIES. Fifteen of 70 (21%) children tolerated fish other than the offending fish. Twenty-four of 70 (34%) children achieved tolerance (age range 24-102 months). Conclusions: The chief peculiarities of acute fish and shellfish FPIES, compared to more frequent cow's milk or soy FPIES, are (i) later age of onset, (ii) longer persistence and (iii) possibility of tolerating fish other than the offending fish. Adverse reactions with shellfish are possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-736
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Allergy and Immunology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2015



  • Fish
  • Food allergy
  • Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome
  • Shellfish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

Cite this

Miceli Sopo, S., Monaco, S., Badina, L., Barni, S., Longo, G., Novembre, E., Viola, S., & Monti, G. (2015). Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome caused by fish and/or shellfish in Italy. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, 26(8), 731-736.