Purpose of review
To highlight recent advances in our understanding of the clinical features, prevalence, and pathophysiology of red meat allergy
Allergic reactions to red (i.e. mammalian) meat have historically been considered rare and described primarily in young atopic children. It is now clear that red meat allergy
is not uncommon in some parts of the world in other age groups. Strikingly, the majority of these cases relate to specific IgE
to galactose-α-1,3-galactose, an oligosaccharide of nonprimate mammals. The mechanism of sensitization in this syndrome relates to bites of certain hard ticks and the clinical reactions often have a delay of 3 to 6 h. An additional form of red meat allergy
relates to inhalant sensitization to mammalian proteins. The best characterized example involves cat-sensitized patients with specific IgE
to cat serum albumin who can react to ingested pork because of cross-sensitization to pork serum albumin.
Summary Red meat allergy
is more common than previously appreciated and relates to at least three different forms that are distinguished by mechanisms of sensitization and have characteristic clinical and immunologic features.