As she adjusts to her new life with allergies, the woman must carry an EpiPen with her at all times.
As she adjusts to her new life with allergies, the woman must carry an EpiPen with her at all times.

Woman’s deadly lung donation bonus 'gift' stuns doctors

A WOMAN developed a peanut allergy after a lung transplant from a donor who had suffered from anaphylaxis, doctors claim.

The 53-year-old patient, who had never experienced a peanut allergy before, endure a severe allergic reaction after eating a peanut butter and jam sandwich following her lung transplant.

A peanut butter and jam sandwich sparked the woman’s terrifying, new allergy.
A peanut butter and jam sandwich sparked the woman’s terrifying, new allergy.

Baffled by the sudden onset of the woman's allergy, doctors ran tests and discovered her blood contained high levels of peanut-specific immunoglobulin, which causes an allergic reaction to the nuts.

Two weeks before her reaction, the woman had a lung transplant from a donor who had a peanut allergy.

Doctors now claim the antibodies that trigger an allergic reaction to peanuts were passed onto the woman through the donor lung.

Her case was published in the journal Transplant Proceedings.

The woman's treating doctor Mazen Odish said it was extremely rare for a patient to get a food allergy from a donor organ.

He told news site Live Science that there have only been about five reported cases of an allergy being transferred from donor to patient after a lung transplant.

The woman needed a lung transplant to treat emphysema, a condition which damages the air sacs in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe.

Her donor was a 22-year-old man.

The woman was found to be allergic to peanuts, almonds, cashews, coconuts and hazelnuts.
The woman was found to be allergic to peanuts, almonds, cashews, coconuts and hazelnuts.

The day before she was scheduled to be sent home from hospital, she developed tightness in her chest and was struggling to breathe.

She underwent multiple tests but doctors couldn't find a cause for her condition.

It wasn't until she said her symptoms had commenced once she ate peanut butter that doctors realised it was an allergic reaction.

The transplant agency was contacted immediately and they was told that the donor had suffered from a peanut allergy.

Although it is rare for food allergies to transfer from an organ donor to a transplant recipient, it can occur.

Cases of food allergies being acquired from organ donors have been reported after liver, kidney, lung, bone marrow, heart and kidney transplants, the authors wrote.

However, not every patient who receives an organ from a donor with a food allergy will necessarily develop the same allergy.

As she adjusts to her new life with allergies, the woman must carry an EpiPen with her at all times.
As she adjusts to her new life with allergies, the woman must carry an EpiPen with her at all times.

Some studies have found that those who receive donor livers from someone with an allergy are more likely to develop the allergy.

Other studies have found that transplant-acquired food allergies are more likely when patients are given tacrolimus, an immunosuppressive drug used to reduce the risk of rejection.

The woman in this case had been on tacrolimus.

Skin tests later confirmed the woman was now allergic to peanuts as well as almonds, cashews, coconuts and hazelnuts.

She was given an EpiPen in case of another allergic reaction.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission