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Sant'Ambrogio di Torino, Italy

Asero R.,Ambulatorio di Allergologia | Arena A.,Ambulatorio di Allergologia | Cecchi L.,Ambulatorio di Allergologia | Conte M.E.,U.O. Allergologia | And 11 more authors.
International Archives of Allergy and Immunology | Year: 2011

Background: Lipid transfer protein (LTP), the most frequent cause of primary food allergy in Italy, is a cross-reacting plant pan-allergen. Markers able to predict whether a patient sensitized to a certain food but not yet clinically allergic will develop allergy would be extremely helpful. Objective: It was the aim of this study to investigate the relevance of IgE levels to some plant foods other than Rosaceae as predictors of either local or systemic allergic reaction in LTP-allergic subjects. Methods: One hundred (40 males, 60 females , mean age 29 years) peach-allergic patients monosensitized to LTP seen at 14 Italian centres in 2009 were studied. Walnut, hazelnut, peanut, tomato, rice and/or maize allergy was ascertained by interview and confirmed by positive skin prick test. IgE levels to these foods and to rPru p 3 were measured. Results: Higher levels of IgE to Pru p 3 were associated with a higher prevalence of allergy to hazelnut, peanut and walnut. For all study foods, except rice, median IgE levels in allergic subjects significantly exceeded those in tolerant subjects, though within single allergic groups, the differences between patients reporting systemic or local (oral) symptoms were not significant. Ninety-five percent cut-off IgE levels predictive of clinical allergy were established for study foods although the marked overlaps between allergic and tolerant subjects made them of limited usefulness. Conclusion: Specific IgE levels are only partially predictive of clinical allergy. The reasons why some individuals showing low specific IgE levels develop clinical allergy whereas others showing high IgE levels do not, despite similar exposure to the allergen, remain unclear. © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel. Source


Asero R.,Ambulatorio di Allergologia | Mistrello G.,Lofarma S.p.A | Amato S.,Lofarma S.p.A | Ariano R.,Ospedale di Bordighera | And 12 more authors.
International Archives of Allergy and Immunology | Year: 2012

Background: Shrimp is a frequent cause of food allergy worldwide. Besides tropomyosin, several allergens have been described recently. Objective: We investigated which allergens are involved in Italian shrimp-allergic adults. Methods: Sera from 116 shrimp-allergic patients selected in 14 Italian allergy centers were studied. Skin prick tests with house dust mite (HDM) as well as measurements of IgE to Pen a 1 (shrimp tropomyosin) and whole shrimp extract were performed. All sera underwent shrimp immunoblot analysis, and inhibition experiments using HDM extract as inhibitor were carried out on some Pen a 1-negative sera. Results: Immunoblots showed much variability. IgE reactivity at about 30 kDa (tropomyosin) was found in <50% of cases, and reactivity at about 67 kDa and >90 kDa was frequent. Further reactivities at 14-18, 25, 43-50, about 60 and about 80 kDa were detected. Most subjects had a history of shrimp-induced systemic symptoms irrespective of the relevant allergen protein. IgE to Pen a 1 were detected in sera from 46 (41%) patients. Skin reactivity to HDM was found in 43/61 (70%) Pen 1-negative subjects and inhibition studies showed that pre-adsorption of sera with HDM extract induced a marked weakening of the signal at >67 kDa. Conclusions: Several allergens other than tropomyosin are involved in shrimp allergy in adult Italian patients. Some hitherto not described high molecular weight allergens seem particularly relevant in this population and their cross-reactivity with HDM allergens makes them novel potential panallergens of invertebrates. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel. Source


Heffler E.,E. Agnelli Hospital ASLTO3 | Nebiolo F.,Ambulatorio di Allergologia e Immunologia | Rizzini F.L.,SSVD Allergologia Spedali Civili | Tosoni C.,SSVD Allergologia Spedali Civili | And 44 more authors.
Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2011

Background: Anisakis simplex (As), a parasite in fish, is able to sensitize humans via the alimentary tract. The prevalence of hypersensitivity and allergy to As outside the Iberian peninsula has not been investigated so far. We investigated Anisakis hypersensitivity in different areas of Italy. Methods: Consecutive subjects seen at 34 Italian allergy centers from October to December 2010 were investigated both by specific interview and by skin prick test (SPT) with As extract. Results: A total of 10 570 subjects were screened, of which 474 (4.5%) scored positive on Anisakis SPT and 66 of these (14% of those sensitized; 0.6% of the studied population) had a history of As allergy. Marinated anchovies were the most frequent cause of allergic reactions. Thirty-four (52%) patients were mono-sensitized to Anisakis. Sensitization rate showed marked geographic differences (range: 0.4-12.7%), being highest along the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian coasts, where homemade marinated anchovies are an age-old tradition. In inland centers in northern Italy, the prevalence was directly related to the number of inhabitants. The analysis of the impact of immigration on the prevalence of Anisakis hypersensitivity showed that about 60% of sensitized subjects in Milano and Torino came from southern Italy or from non-European countries. Conclusions: Anisakis hypersensitivity and allergy are mainly a matter of dietary habits. Areas where marinated anchovies are popular can be considered as 'endemic' for this type of food allergy, whereas immigration and, possibly, new or imported trendy food styles, such as eating raw fish carpaccios or sushi, are a major causative factor in big cities of inland zones. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Source


Asero R.,Ambulatorio di Allergologia | Antonicelli L.,Servizio di Allergologia | Arena A.,Ambulatorio Allergologia | Bommarito L.,Ambulatorio di Allergologia e Immunologia | And 20 more authors.
European Annals of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2010

Background: Epinephrine is the treatment of choice for acute food-allergic reactions but existing guidelines state that it should be prescribed uniquely to patients who already experienced at least one food-induced anaphylactic episode. Objective: We investigated whether in Italy epinephrine auto-injector is prescribed uniquely following the existing guidelines only, or is allergen-informed as well (i.e., based on the potential risk associated with sensitization to certain food allergens), and hence preventive. Methods: 1110 adult patients (mean age 31 years; M/F 391/719) with food allergy seen at 19 allergy outpatient clinics were studied. Patients with a history of probable anaphylaxis were identified. Subjects were classified as having primary (type 1) and/or secondary (type 2) food allergy and were divided into several subgroups based on the offending allergen/food. Epinephrine prescriptions were recorded and analyzed both as a whole and by sensitizing allergen. Results: Epinephrine was prescribed to 138/1100 (13%) patients with a significant difference between subjects with type-1 and type-2 food allergy (132/522 [25%] vs 6/629 [1%]; p< 0.001). The epinephrine group included most patients with a history of anaphylaxis (55/62 [89%]) or emergency department visits 106/138 (77%). In some specific subsets, namely fish-, tree nuts-, and lipid trasfer protein (LTP)-allergic patients, epinephrine was prescribed to patients without a history of systemic allergic reactions. Conclusions: Italian allergy specialists prescribe epinephrine auto-injectors both on the basis of clinical history of severe reactions and on a critical analysis of the hazard associated with the relevant protein allergens, which suggests a good knowledge of allergens as well as acquaintance with the guidelines for prescription of emergency medication. Source

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