Diagnosis of Sesame Allergy: Analysis of Current Practice and Exploration of Sesame Component Ses i 1

Sarah Saf, Travis M. Sifers, Mary Grace Baker, Christopher M. Warren, Christopher Knight, Katrina Bakhl, Jacob D. Kattan, Hugh A. Sampson, Anna Nowak-Wegrzyn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Sesame is an allergen of increasing importance. Objective: We sought to characterize the outcomes of oral food challenges (OFCs) to sesame and evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of skin prick testing (SPT), sesame, and Ses i 1-specific IgE (sIgE). Methods: We reviewed sesame OFCs performed at the Mount Sinai pediatric allergy clinic between January 2010 and April 2018. We assessed the accuracy of diagnostic tests by calculating the area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver operating characteristic curves. The association between OFC outcome and sesame sensitization was analyzed using a logistic regression, which was then used to estimate the 95% positive predictive value (PPV) of these tests. Results: We identified 341 patients (69% male, mean age 7.7 years) who underwent sesame OFC. Among 106 (31%) positive OFCs, the median cumulative eliciting dose was 500 mg sesame protein (1/2 teaspoon tahini). Sesame SPT wheal ≥6 mm had sensitivity 54.1% and specificity 87.8%; AUC 0.756 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.699-0.814). SPT wheal size ≥14 mm had 95% PPV. Sesame-sIgE level did not correlate with OFC outcome. Ses i-sIgE levels were analyzed in 30 patients using the Immuno Solid-phase Allergen Chip (ISAC) microarray and were significantly associated with OFC outcome (AUC: 0.715 [95% CI, 0.541-0.890]). Ses i 1-sIgE ≥0.3 ISAC Standardized Units had sensitivity 58.3% and specificity 83.3%. Conclusions: This is the largest study of sesame allergy to date. Sesame SPT is a more accurate predictor of sesame allergy compared with sesame sIgE. Ses i 1-sIgE appears promising but requires further study regarding diagnostic accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1681-1688.e3
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2020


  • Diagnosis
  • Food allergy
  • Oral food challenge
  • Predictive value
  • Serum-specific IgE
  • Ses i 1
  • Sesame
  • Sesame IgE
  • Skin prick test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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