ABSTRACT: Shellfish allergy affects approximately 2% of the population and can cause immediate hypersensitivity reactions such as urticaria, swelling, difficulty breathing, and, in some cases, anaphylaxis. Tropomyosin is the major shrimp allergen and binds IgE in two-thirds of patients. A total of 38 shrimp-allergic patients and 20 negative control subjects were recruited and evaluated on the basis of history, skin prick testing, specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels, and peripheral blood mononuclear cell proliferation in response to shrimp tropomyosin or shrimp tropomyosin-derived peptides. Of the classically allergic patients by history, 59% tested positive for serum shrimp IgE antibodies. Of patients with shrimp-specific IgE in sera, 70% also had significant IgE levels specific for shrimp tropomyosin. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from classically shrimp-allergic patients proliferated in a dose-dependent manner in response to to tropomyosin. In addition, a T-cell line derived from a shrimp-allergic patient proliferated specifically in response to tropomyosin-derived peptides. These studies suggest a strategy for immunotherapy using a tropomyosin-derived T-cell epitope vaccination.
Human immunology 12/2011; 73(4):426-31. · 2.55 Impact Factor