Goat’s Milk Allergy Test
Source material: Goat’s milk
Common names: Goat’s milk, Goat milk
Goat’s milk is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Goat’s Milk Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Goat’s milk makes up around 2% of the total milk consumed worldwide, and is generally obtained from breed of goat specifically selected for milk production.
It differs from cow’s milk in that the fat globules present in the milk are well emulsified, and remain suspended rather than separating and floating to the top. Goat’s milk does not therefore require homogenisation.
Goat’s milk is commonly processed into cheese, butter, ice cream, yogurt and other dairy products. Goat’s butter is white in colour rather than yellow due to conversion of the beta-carotene content to a colorless form of vitamin A.
Health authorities in the United States, United Kingdom and other countries advise against feeding goat’s milk, or formulas based on goat’s milk protein to infants due to the potential risk of allergic reactions, including life-threatening anaphylactic shock, among other health concerns.
Goat’s milk often appears as a substitute for cow’s milk, particularly in diets administered by parents to children with atopic dermatitis.
Goat’s Milk Allergy Test: Allergen Description
The major allergen present in goat’s milk is casein. However, allergens other than casein can be involved in allergy to goat’s milk.
Goat’s Milk Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
Cross-reactivity between goat’s milk and the milk from other mammals such as cow and sheep has been reported. Cross‐reactivity to donkey, mare, and camel milk is rarely observed.
In some cases homologous milk proteins of different species can lead to cross‐reactivity in sensitized/allergic individuals.
Nevertheless the occurrence of allergy to goat’s milk not associated with allergy to cow’s milk is rare.
Goat’s Milk Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Cow’s milk allergy is the most frequent cause of food allergy in infants. Most children who are allergic to cow’s milk cannot tolerate goat’s or sheep’s milk either.
Some cow’s milk-allergic children may tolerate goat’s milk, however, there appears to be strong evidence for cross-reactivity between goat’s milk and cow’s milk.
Many children overcome the condition during early childhood, although in some individuals the allergy may be present for the remainder of their life.
Symptoms may occur immediately, or after a few hours following exposure. Exposure is usually via ingestion of goat’s milk or products containing goat’s milk. Symptoms may include stuffy or runny nose, urticaria, angioedema, wheezing, breathing difficulties, nausea and vomiting, indigestion, diarrhea, abdominal distention as well as anaphylaxis.
In one study it was reported that a 27 year-old female patient experienced two separate episodes of urticaria related to ingestion of goat’s cheese. The patient tolerated cows milk, dairy products and sheep cheese.
In a study of cross-reactivity of the casein fractions among different species, the allergic response to ewe and goat’s milk was weaker than that to cow and buffalo.
IgE-mediated reactions to goat’s milk have been reported.
Because goat’s milk contains lactose, it should be avoided by those who are lactose intolerant.