During the first years of my work on allergy, I chanced on a statement in an article by Wells1 that offspring born of guinea-pigs fed on oats were moderately sensitive at birth apparently from a passive sensitization conferred by the mother.
The question arose in my mind whether in the human being there could be any relationship between a mother's diet during pregnancy and her child's hypersensitiveness to certain foods.
At this time, a child (case 1), aged 13 months, suffering from a severe eczema involving the head, face, extremities and trunk was brought to me at the New York Nursery and Child's Hospital. Allergic skin tests revealed a positive reaction to egg white. I promptly proceeded to inquire carefully into the antepartum diet of the mother of this child and found that one of the few foods she could tolerate during gestation was egg, and that she ate