Occupational inhalant allergy to pork followed by food allergy to pork and chicken: sensitization to hemoglobin and serum albumin.
- Molecular and Translational Allergology
BACKGROUND: Animal-derived proteins are implicated in primary food allergies, but also in inhalant allergies with secondary food allergy symptoms. The objective of this study was to define the allergen(s) implicated in a case of food allergy to chicken meat, which developed in a person previously sensitized to pork after occupational exposure. METHODS: A 42-year-old female with a history of occupational inhalant allergy to pork reported rhinitis, asthma, dysphonia and conjunctivitis 30 min after ingestion of chicken. Skin tests were positive to chicken meat. Protein extracts were prepared from chicken meat. Allergens were characterized by IgE immunoblotting, N-terminal sequencing and ELISA. RESULTS: The patient showed specific IgE binding to chicken meat proteins at 12, 14, 26, 55 and 65 kDa. N-terminal amino acid sequencing identified the 12- and 14-kDa proteins as the alpha- and beta-chain of hemoglobin. ELISA and immunoblot showed specific IgE binding to hemoglobin purified from chicken blood. IgE antibodies to chicken serum albumin were detected by ELISA. Inhibition studies with chicken and porcine hemoglobin as well as with serum albumins demonstrated cross-reactive IgE antibodies. CONCLUSIONS: We report a case of confirmed occupational inhalant allergy due to pork followed by food allergy to pork and 3 years later by food allergy to chicken. Porcine and chicken hemoglobin were found to be cross-reactive allergens. Cross-reactivity between porcine and chicken serum albumin was possibly linked to a prior sensitization to cat serum albumin.