Q:

10/31/2011

A patient had a reaction after eating pumpkin pie, ordered a RAST test for pumpkin and the results came back as positive test to summer squash. Is pumpkin and summer squash in the same family? If your allergic to one do you assume your allergic to the other?

A:

Thank you for your recent inquiry.

Allergen cross-reactivity clearly exists between pumpkin and members of the cucurbitaceae family, including squash (1). Therefore there is clear potential for a patient to react to both pumpkin and squash, and a positive specific IgE to one can imply senstivity to the other.

Thank you again for your inquiry and we hope this response is helpful to you.

Reference:
1. Figueredo E, et al. Allergy to pumpkin and cross-reactivity to other cucurbitaceae fruits. J Clin Immunol 2000 (August); 106(2):402-403.

Sincerely,
Phil Lieberman, M.D.

AAAAI - American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology