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Each food fish can cause specific allergies
Date:12/11/2013

IgE antibodies in the patients' serum bind to the proteins of the food that triggers the allergy, this is a clear signal. The identified allergies can initially be used for individual diagnoses and later for epidemiological studies, to determine the relevance of individual allergies. In their study, the researchers examined two patients from the University Hospital Leipzig and ten from the Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen in Norway. One of the subjects was a 24-year-old chef from Leipzig who had developed an allergy to Nile perch (Lates niloticus) after having come into contact with the raw fish following consumption of salmon (Salmo salar). Scientists know about such cross allergies. What was unusual about this case was that the patient tolerated other types of fish. Tests indicated signs of allergies to Nile perch and salmon, but not to Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua). "The tests that are currently used are very non-specific. For some people who suffer from fish allergies there may be hope of finding a fish that they can tolerate if we managed to make the relevant tests suitable for mass implementation and use them in allergy diagnostics", says Dr Janina Tomm from the UFZ, who specialises in research into proteins.

The researchers report a similar case in a second publication. They examined proteins of the Kuruma shrimp (Marsupenaeus japonicus); they found two new enzymes, pyruvate kinase and phosphopyruvate hydratase, that could be the cause of food allergies to shellfish. In theory, both would only have a low allergenic potential. "This shows us that even though we are significantly better at predicting allergies, computer algorithms can currently not replace biochemical experiments", emphasises Prof. Jan-Christoph Simon from the University of Leipzig. Here, too, detailed knowledge about hitherto underestimated allergens could help make the correct diagnosis in cases of shellfish allergies in the future.

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Contact: Tilo Arnhold
presse@ufz.de
49-341-235-1635
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Source:Eurekalert  

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