Sensitization to plant food allergens in patients with asthma
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Hypersensitivity to fruits and vegetables is assumed to play a role in the etiology and deteriorating of asthma symptoms in some patients, little is known about allergy to some fruits and vegetables in patients with asthma. The purpose of this study was to identify probable sensitization to eggplant, Shiraz grape, melon and mango in patients with asthma.
The study included 50 patients with moderate to severe persistent asthma and 50 healthy individuals with no history of asthma and atopic diseases. Skin tests were performed in both patient and control group with fresh eggplant, Shiraz grape, melon, and mango as well as the commercial extracts of mango and melon.
Among patients with asthma, the most frequent positive skin tests were to eggplant (48%), fresh melon (30%) and extracts of melon and mango (18% for each) which all were significantly different from the control group. Skin sensitization to Shiraz grape and fresh mango showed no difference to control group. Skin tests of 21 patients (42%) were negative to the all tested allergens.
Forty percent of our patients had clinical symptoms to eggplant and more than half of those revealed positive skin tests to fresh extract of this plant.
Key words: asthma, eggplants, grape, mango, melon, skin test
Asthma is an inflammatory condition in response to inhaled or ingested allergens. There are controversies about the role of diet on incidence or worsening the clinical symptoms in these patients. 1,2
Eggplant (Solanum melongena) is widely used in Asian countries. Clinical allergic symptoms to eggplant are reported as anaphylaxis, urticaria and oral allergy syndrome. Allergic reaction to eggplant is attributed to cross-reactivity with tomato and grass pollen. 3-5
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...ction of food allergens should also be considered 15 and because of this fault, PPT is preferred. Along with 40 patients with a history of clinical symptoms to melon, 14 patients showed positive PPT. This figure is almost similar to that reported from Mashhad (eastern Iran). 18
Mango is not originally cultivated in Iran and just distributed in some part of the country. The results of PPT showed no significant difference between patients and controls. We did not observe any positive skin reaction to the commercial extract of mango in the control group whereas 18% of the patients had positive PPT. It appears that enzymatic degradation of proteins in mango extract is lower than other food extracts.
Conclusion: Forty percent of the patients with asthma had clinical symptoms to eggplant which in more than half of them allergic reaction to eggplant was confirmed by PPT.