[Update on meat allergy. α-Gal: a new epitope, a new entity?].
The association between the carbohydrate galactose-[alpha]-1,3-galactose (α-Gal) and anaphylaxis was first documented after severe hypersensitivity reactions to cetuximab, a chimeric mouse-human IgG1 monoclonal antibody approved for targeted therapy of carcinomas of colon, as well as of the head and neck region. α-Gal is a ubiquitous glycan moiety expressed on cells and tissue of non-primate mammals. Since this epitope is not expressed in humans, it is very immunogenic for them. α-Gal is located on the Fab portion of cetuximab and thus on the murine part of the chimera. The anaphylactic reactions to the antibody were mediated by IgE specific for α-Gal. Anti-α-Gal-IgE were first detected in sera of patients from the southeastern U.S. and reacted with a wide range of mammalian allergens. The geographic distribution prompted investigations of sensitization routes apart from the ingestion of red meat, such as tick bites und parasitic infections. Anti-α-Gal-IgE seems to be of clinical relevance for allergy to red meat and for the pork-cat syndrome. It is also associated with a novel form of delayed anaphylaxis, which appears more than 3 hours following the ingestion of red meat (beef, pork and lamb), a phenomenon which is still to be elucidated. For most of these patients conventional skin prick tests with commercial reagents proved insufficient for diagnosis.
Klinik für Dermatologie, Allergologie und Venerologie, Universität Lübeck, Lübeck, Deutschland. email@example.com
Pub Type(s)English Abstract