Allergenicity of a hydrolyzed rice infant formula in a guinea pig model

Clinica Pediatrica, Università di Verona, Verona, Italy.
Annals of allergy, asthma & immunology: official publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology (Impact Factor: 2.75). 07/2003; 91(1):61-4. DOI: 10.1016/S1081-1206(10)62060-1
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Because sensitization to cow's milk is a common finding in children, the identification of safe alternative protein sources is important in the management of childhood allergy.
To evaluate, in an animal model, the allergenicity of a novel formula based on hydrolyzed rice proteins.
We conducted an experiment involving 130 guinea pigs, from 7 to 12 days old at the onset of the study. The animals were divided into 13 groups and were given, ad libitum, one of the following liquids to drink: (1) rice hydrolysate formula (RF), (2) a conventional cow's milk formula (CMF), or (3) water. After a 37-day sensitization period, a challenge was given, consisting of an intravenous injection of either isolated proteins or ultracentrifuged formulas (uCMF and uRF). Specific IgG antibodies to beta-lactoglobulin, casein, and whole rice protein were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
When animals fed CMF were challenged with beta-lactoglobulin, casein, or whole uCMF, they showed significantly more reactions than did those fed RF when challenged with the same proteins (P < 0.001). In the groups fed RF, no reaction was observed after challenge with uRF, and only 2 mild reactions occurred after challenge with rice protein. Very low levels of specific IgG antibodies to rice protein were noted in all the groups, including the RF-fed animals, and no significant differences were evident between groups.
The findings suggest that this new formula based on hydrolyzed rice proteins has a very low sensitizing capability.

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