Sheep's milk

Further Reading

Cow's milk f2

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Code: f325
Latin name: Ovis spp.
Source material: Sheep's milk
Fifteen out of sixteen cow´s milk allergic patients had IgE antibodies against sheep’s milk.

Allergen Exposure

Sheep's cheese, and other dairy products.
Unexpected exposure
Sometimes included in infant formulas.

Potential Cross-Reactivity

Crossreactivity between sheep's milk and cow's milk and whey might be expected.

Milk from other related animals.
Sheep’s milk is sometimes recommended as a substitute for cow’s milk in atopic children. However, 15/16 cows´s milk allergic patients had IgE antibodies against sheep’s milk. Crossreactivity with cow’s milk was confirmed in RAST® inhibition (1). Serum albumin and caseins show homology to the corresponding proteins of cow and sheep (2). Milking sheep can cause IgE mediated respiratory problems in milk allergic individuals (3).


  1. Bernard, H; Wal, JM; Creminon, C; Grassi, J; Yvon, M; Houdebine, LM. Sensitivities of cow’s milk allergic patients to casein fraction of milks from different species. Allergy; 1992;47: 306.
  2. Spuergin, P; Walter, M; Schiltz, E; Deichman, K; Forster, J; Mueller. Allergenicity of a-caseins from cow, sheep, and goat. Allergy; 1997; 52: 293-298.
  3. Vargiu; A; Vargiu, G; Locci,F; Del Giacco, Del Giacco, GS. Hypersensitivity reactions from inhalation of milk proteins. Allergy; 1994; 49:386-387.


As in all diagnostic testing, the diagnosis is made by the physican based on both test results and the patient history.