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Molecular diagnosis of fruit and vegetable allergy

Ballmer-Weber, Barbara K; Hoffmann-Sommergruber, Karin

Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology: June 2011 - Volume 11 - Issue 3 - p 229–235
doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e3283464c74
Food allergy: Edited by Alessandro Fiocchi and Anna Nowak-Wegrzyn

Purpose of review The purpose of this paper is to review and discuss studies on molecular diagnosis in fruit and vegetable allergy.

Recent findings Celeriac, carrot and tomato are the most prevalent allergenic vegetables, whereas fruit allergy is mainly induced by apple, peach and kiwi. Component-resolved molecular diagnosis has been recently applied in two well-defined patient groups with kiwifruit and celeriac allergy, respectively. In kiwifruit allergy Act d 1 and Act d 3 were identified as potential marker allergens for severe symptoms. For celeriac allergy, however, such markers are still missing. In both studies component-resolved molecular diagnosis approach improved in particular sensitivity compared to extract-based diagnostic test assays.

Summary Food and vegetable allergy can be acquired both via a direct sensitization over the gastrointestinal tract and via a primary sensitization to pollen or latex. The diagnosis of fruit and vegetable allergy in birch pollen-sensitized patients should not be excluded on a negative IgE testing to extracts. Bet v 1-related allergens are often under-represented in extracts. Few recombinant allergens derived from fruits and vegetables are nowadays commercially available and facilitate diagnosis of fruit and vegetable allergies.

aAllergy Unit, Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

bDepartment of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Correspondence to Barbara K. Ballmer-Weber, Allergy Unit, Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Zürich, Gloriastr. 31, CH-8091 Zürich, Switzerland Tel: +41 44 2553079; fax: +41 44 2554431; e-mail:

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