Reported on: July 02, 2012 09:02 AM
Reported in: Health
Dhaka, July 2 (UNB) - It is loved for its dripping sweet flavour and regarded as the king of fruits. But the bitter truth about mango is that it can also trigger a rare allergy with lifethreatening consequences.
There have been 10 reported cases of immediate mango hypersensitivity all over the world in the last 12 months. A couple of them have been identified in India and one person out of the two belongs to the Capital, reports the Mail Online.
The patient from Delhi is 46-year-old Suneeta Rawat (name changed), who is undergoing treatment at Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute in Delhi University. The other person afflicted with the disease is from Bangalore, according to medical records.
'She (Rawat) came to the hospital with aggravated wheezing dyspnea (shortness of breath) and cough after consuming ripe mangoes this season.
'Other symptoms were anaphylaxis (a severe, wholebody, potentially fatal allergic reaction to a chemical that has become an allergen), angioedema (swelling below the surface of the skin, around the lips and eyes), erythema (redness of skin) and urticaria (skin rashes),' Dr Ashok Shah, professor of respiratory medicine at Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, revealed, adding that polyps and cysts also developed on her nose after eating the fruit.
'Hypersensitivity reactions to mango are distinctly uncommon, especially in India. Rawat developed immediate hypersensitivity reaction 15 minutes after ingestion of fresh mango,' Dr Shah disclosed.
'Mango allergy can be tested using the prick test with the mango extract as well as the oral food challenge test. Rawat was subjected to both tests. She was made to eat a slice of a mango under observation in the emergency room. She started coughing badly and developed irritation in the throat within 15 minutes of eating the fruit,' Dr Shah said.
'The immediate hypersensitivity reaction caused by mango can result in a lifethreatening event. It is imperative to recognise such manifestations early in order to avoid morbidity and mortality in susceptible patients,' the doctor cautioned.
Mango (Mangifera indica) is the favourite fruit among Indians and belongs to the family, Anacardiacae. Nearly half of the world's mango cultivation is carried out in India alone and it is also the national fruit of the country.
'Even canned or packaged mango can cause an allergic reaction, because the allergenicity of mango nectar persists even after heating, enzymatic degradation, and mechanical tissue damage,' Dr Shah pointed out.
Mango is also known to rarely cause delayed hypersensitivity reaction with redness, soreness and inflammation of the skin and puffiness of the eyes. This has been documented in 12 patients till date.
'This type of reaction can occur either by direct contact with mango or even its tree. Ingestion, too, can trigger it,' he said.