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The relevance of tick bites to the production of IgE antibodies to the mammalian oligosaccharide galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose
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2011 (English)In: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, ISSN 0091-6749, E-ISSN 1097-6825, Vol. 127, no 5, 1286-1293.e6 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: In 2009, we reported a novel form of delayed anaphylaxis to red meat that is related to serum IgE antibodies to the oligosaccharide galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose (alpha-gal). Most of these patients had tolerated meat for many years previously. The implication is that some exposure in adult life had stimulated the production of these IgE antibodies. Objectives: We sought to investigate possible causes of this IgE antibody response, focusing on evidence related to tick bites, which are common in the region where these reactions occur.

Methods: Serum assays were carried out with biotinylated proteins and extracts bound to a streptavidin ImmunoCAP.

Results: Prospective studies on IgE antibodies in 3 subjects after tick bites showed an increase in levels of IgE to alpha-gal of 20fold or greater. Other evidence included (1) a strong correlation between histories of tick bites and levels of IgE to alpha-gal (chi(2) = 26.8, P < .001), (2) evidence that these IgE antibodies are common in areas where the tick Amblyomma americanum is common, and (3) a significant correlation between IgE antibodies to alpha-gal and IgE antibodies to proteins derived from A americanum (r(s) = 0.75, P < .001).

Conclusion: The results presented here provide evidence that tick bites are a cause, possibly the only cause, of IgE specific for alpha-gal in this area of the United States. Both the number of subjects becoming sensitized and the titer of IgE antibodies to alpha-gal are striking. Here we report the first example of a response to an ectoparasite giving rise to an important form of food allergy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 127, no 5, 1286-1293.e6 p.
Keyword [en]
Ticks, anaphylaxis, oligosaccharide, alpha-gal, IgE antibody to CCD
National Category
Immunology in the medical area
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-104452DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2011.02.019ISI: 000290018600025PubMedID: 21453959OAI: diva2:823800
Available from: 2015-06-18 Created: 2015-06-11 Last updated: 2015-06-18Bibliographically approved

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Rönmark, Eva
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