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Adverse reactions to wine: think outside the bottle

Armentia, Alicia

Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology: June 2008 - Volume 8 - Issue 3 - p 266–269
doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e3282ffb110
Food allergy: Edited by Suzanne S. Teuber and Kirsten Beyer
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Purpose of review Wine contains chemical and biological contaminants. Symptoms such as facial flushing, asthma and oral allergic swelling and burning (oral syndrome) have been attributed to these contaminants and food additives. Their clinical implications should be known.

Recent findings Recent studies have reported a high prevalence of hypersensitivity symptoms after intake of alcoholic drinks in the general population. Red wine was the most common beverage implicated. Wine contains many contaminants. Some of them come from Hymenoptera insects that fall into the wine when grapes are collected and pressed. We have found patients with allergic symptoms related to wine consumption who are sensitized to Hymenoptera venom without previous stings. The aim of this study is to assess the potential importance of their sensitization to Hymenoptera antigens as the cause of their symptoms and also to comment on other recent studies on wine hypersensitivity.

Summary We found patients with allergic symptoms related to wine consumption who are sensitized to Hymenoptera venoms. Challenges were negative with sulfites, other additives and aging wines, but positive with young wines. Sera from all the patients detected Hymenoptera venom antigens. We report the first cases of sensitization to venom antigens by the oral route.

Allergy Section, Río Hortega Hospital, Valladolid, Spain

Correspondence to Dr Alicia Armentia, MD, PhD, Hospital Universitario Rio Hortega, Cardenal Torquemada sn, 47014 Valladolid, Spain E-mail: aliciaarmentia@gmail.com

Copyright © 2008 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.