Intended for healthcare professionals

Practice 10-Minute Consultation

Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination in a child with suspected egg allergy

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 03 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4536
  1. Alexandra Rolfe, clinical research fellow1,
  2. Aziz Sheikh, professor of primary care research & development & honorary consultant2
  1. 1Centre for Population Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 9DX, UK
  2. 2Allergy and Respiratory Research Group, Centre for Population Health Sciences University of Edinburgh
  1. Correspondence to: A Sheikh Aziz.Sheikh{at}

A mother presents with her 12 month old son requesting testing for an egg allergy before the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination; his older sister has a severe egg allergy.

What you should cover

Understanding of allergy can vary notably between patients and healthcare professionals. Explore the mother’s concerns surrounding MMR vaccination, focusing on egg allergy in particular.

Egg allergy usually presents with rapid onset of angioedema, urticaria, or gastrointestinal symptoms. Most reactions are mild with no evidence of respiratory or cardiovascular involvement. Severe reactions can involve the upper airways (for example, hoarse cry, change in voice, stridor) or lower airways (cough, wheeze, breathlessness); pallor and floppiness can also occur.1 2 Dislike of or refusal to eat eggs do not necessarily indicate an allergy, but may do so.

Ask about previous investigations for food allergy, including any tests done by complimentary or alternative medicine practitioners.

Egg allergy is common in infancy with a prevalence of 1-2% in children aged 2.5 years.1 The risk is …

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