Fruit-pollen-latex cross-reactivity: implication of profilin (Bet v 2).Allergy. 1999 Sep; 54(9):951-61.A
An association between allergy to fruits and latex, and between pollen and plant-derived food has been described. The cross-reactive structures responsible for these associations have not yet been completely elucidated.
IgE reactivity to the recombinant allergens Bet v 1 and Bet v 2, different pollens, natural latex, papain, and bromelain was investigated in 29 patients with allergy to fruits or vegetables who lived in an area without birch trees.
Exactly 79.3% of patients were allergic to grass pollen, and two of them had clinical allergy to latex. Serum IgE reactivity (CAP) to birch pollen was found in 65% of patients, to Bet v 2 in 51.7%, to Bet v 1 in 3.4%, to latex in 58.6%, to bromelain in 51.7%, and to papain in 17.2% of patients. All subjects with positive IgE to Bet v 2 had also reactivity to latex, grass, olive tree, birch, and mugwort pollens. The six patients not allergic to pollen did not show IgE reactivity to latex, Bet v 1, or Bet v 2. A significant correlation was found between CAP to latex with Bet v 2 (r=0.86, P<0.001), with birch (r=0.86, P<0.001), and with ryegrass (r=0.81, P<0.001). Immunoblotting using nine sera with positive CAP to birch pollen showed IgE-binding to a 15-kDa band that was recognized by antiprofilin monoclonal antibody. Bet v 2 CAP could be inhibited up to 52% by ryegrass and up to 23% by mugwort. CAP to latex was almost completely inhibited by ryegrass pollen with sera from five subjects without symptoms due to latex, whereas no inhibition was observed with serum from one patient with allergy to latex.
Patients with allergy to plant-derived food and associated pollinosis showed a high frequency of IgE reactivity to Bet v 2, which may cause positive serum IgE determinations to latex and birch pollen due to the presence of cross-reactive epitopes. IgE reactivity to Bet v 2 may serve as an indicator of broad sensitization.