Article

Allergy to Locusts and Acridid Grasshoppers: a Review

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Abstract

Concise characterization of allergy is presented and allergy to insects is discussed. Three kinds of allergy to locusts and grasshoppers are reviewed: 1) occupational allergy, i. e. allergy of personnel working with rearing and breeding these insects; 2) allergic reactions to acridid aggregations in the field; and 3)food allergy. Occupational allergy is the major subject, dealing the results of several relevant studies. Some inconsistent issues regarding reports on field allergy are illuminated and anaphylactic reaction to consumption of locusts/grasshoppers is discussed. Prevention and treatments of allergy to locusts and grasshoppers are described. Approximate molecular masses of locust allergens, as found in three studies, are summarized. A major allergen is the peritrophic membrane (today often termed peritrophic matrix or peritrophic envelope) which is secreted by the gut and excreted as a wrapping around the feces. It is concluded that the molecular structure of locust and grasshopper allergens should be revealed for full characterization.

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... Insect consumption by persons allergic to, for example, dust mites or shrimps, can induce allergic reactions associated with cross-reactivity (Verhoeckx et al., 2014). It is, however, important to distinguish whether the effects are actually from food allergy or from possible chemical contamination of the insects (Pener, 2014;Srinroch, Srisomsap, Chokchaichamnankit, Punyarit, & Phiriyangkul, 2015). ...
... Tropomyosin was identified in patients allergic to house dust mites (HDM) (Verhoeckx et al., 2014) and to crustaceans , confirming the importance of this protein in cross-reactivity. Pener (2014) has reviewed allergy to locusts and acridid grasshoppers and described cross-reactivity to tropomyosin from shrimp, lobster, HDM, and cockroach (Pener, 2014). ...
... Tropomyosin was identified in patients allergic to house dust mites (HDM) (Verhoeckx et al., 2014) and to crustaceans , confirming the importance of this protein in cross-reactivity. Pener (2014) has reviewed allergy to locusts and acridid grasshoppers and described cross-reactivity to tropomyosin from shrimp, lobster, HDM, and cockroach (Pener, 2014). ...
Article
Edible insects are expected to become an important nutrient source for animals and humans in the Western world in the near future. However, before insects can be put on the market, the safety of their use for feed and food is warranted. This literature study was prepared to provide an overview of the actual knowledge of possible food safety hazards, including chemical, microbiological, and allergenic agents and prions, to human and animal health upon the use of insects for food and feed, and to highlight data gaps and suggest the way forward. From the data available, heavy metals of concern are cadmium in black soldier fly and arsenic in yellow mealworm larvae. Investigated mycotoxins do not seem to accumulate. Residues of pesticides, veterinary drugs, and hormones, as well as dioxins and PCBs, are sometimes found in insects. Contamination of insects with pathogens to human health is a consequence of a combination of the substrates used and the farming and processing steps applied. Insects harbor a wide variety of microorganisms, and some human pathogenic bacteria may be present. In addition, insects may harbor and transmit parasites. There is no evidence so far insects may harbor pathogenic viruses or prions, but they may act as vectors. Insects and insect‐derived products may have allergenic potential. In this review, evidence on some safety aspects is displayed, and data gaps are identified. Recommendations are given for future research to fill the most relevant data gaps.
... The present review is a continuation of my former review on allergy to locusts and acridid grasshoppers (Pener 2014). This former review deals with allergy in general and allergy to insects and these subjects are not repeated here. ...
... In the studies summarized below, possible former exposure to the allergen was not considered, no species was stated, possible cross allergy was disregarded and no statistical analysis was made. Also, the term grasshopper may mean acridid and/or tettigoniid (see Pener 2014). Prasad et al. (2001) carried out 5,760 intradermal skin tests with 68 different antigens, including of five insects, tested on 108 patients with bronchial asthma who attended a medical college in Lucknow, India. ...
... In my former article devoted to allergy to locusts and acridid grasshoppers, I described extreme protective measures; complete outfit laboratory coat, trousers and overshoes, as well as specially designed insect room and a changing room (Pener 2014 and references therein). These measures may overshoot the needs of cricket allergy which is less severe and less common than locust/grasshopper allergy. ...
Article
Cricket allergy is less severe and less common than allergy to locusts and grasshoppers. A partial cross-reactivity exists between cricket and grasshopper allergens. Cricket allergens are proteinaceous compounds, but their nature is insufficiently known; arginine kinase and hexamerin 1 B may play a role. Occupational allergy, i. e. allergy of personnel working with rearing and breeding of cricket colonies, is the subject of the majority of reports on cricket allergy. Frequent handling of crickets (for example as fish baits) may inflict allergy which may be considered as a kind of occupational allergy. Crickets are edible insects and widely consumed in many parts of the world. Nevertheless, food allergy to crickets seems to be relatively rare.
... However, certain human populations have not been exposed to significant insect levels in their diet, other than by unwanted insect ingestion through inadvertently contaminated foods. Allergenic reactions similar to those caused by crustaceans may occur following the ingestion of certain edible insects (Belluco et al., 2013;Belluco et al., 2015;Pener, 2014Pener, , 2016. Cases of occupational allergies during insect farming and allergies following edible insect consumption have been reported in several reviews (Barre et al., 2016;Blecker et al., 2016;Feng et al., 2017;Pener, 2014Pener, , 2016Schlüter et al., 2017). ...
... Allergenic reactions similar to those caused by crustaceans may occur following the ingestion of certain edible insects (Belluco et al., 2013;Belluco et al., 2015;Pener, 2014Pener, , 2016. Cases of occupational allergies during insect farming and allergies following edible insect consumption have been reported in several reviews (Barre et al., 2016;Blecker et al., 2016;Feng et al., 2017;Pener, 2014Pener, , 2016Schlüter et al., 2017). Therefore, in addition to toxicity, the occurrence of allergic reactions following insect consumption by humans has been evaluated. ...
... For specific insects such as crickets, most allergy cases appear to be occupational while food related allergies are rare (Pener, 2016). In addition, symptoms associated with cricket allergies have been described as being less severe than those experienced in the case of allergies to locusts and grasshoppers (Pener, 2014(Pener, , 2016. Arginine kinase and hexamerin B1 have been identified as allergens in crickets (Pener, 2016) while with locust, the peritropic membrane has been implicated in allergic reactions (Pener, 2014). ...
Article
This review, focusing on studies published between 2005 and 2017, analysed the literature on the generation of bioactive peptides (BAPs) from edible insect proteins following enzymatic hydrolysis. The protein extraction and quantification methodologies used for edible insects varied considerably. While several edible insects have been evaluated for their ability to release BAPs, silkworm (Bombyx mori) is currently the most studied. Specifically, the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory, antioxidant and antidiabetic properties of edible insect protein enzymatic hydrolysates have been studied. Potent in vitro ACE inhibitory and antioxidant hydrolysates/peptides have been reported. In certain instances, these properties were validated in small animal studies (i.e. hypotensive effects). Enzymatic hydrolysis of edible insect proteins may also enhance technofunctional properties (i.e. solubility). The wider application of enzymatic hydrolysis protocols to edible insect proteins may ultimately allow for the increased discovery and utilisation of novel BAPs as sustainable protein/peptide sources for human nutrition.
... Food allergy to insects, including locusts and grasshoppers was reviewed by Pener in 2014, who reported some cases of severe allergic reactions: seven cases of anaphylaxis after the ingestion of fried grasshoppers and crickets during a 2-yr period in a Thai hospital emergency department. Additionally, 27 cases of anaphylactic shock caused by consumption of grasshoppers and 27 cases caused by consumption of locusts were described in the Chinese literature between 1980 and 2007 (Pener, 2014). ...
... Previous allergological studies made complicated efforts to interpret sporadic reactions following insect ingestion in the context of foodborne risks (Ji et al., 2008;Belluco et al., 2013). In contrast, recently published studies have targeted precise genera (Pener, 2014) and species (Verhoeckx et al., 2014) of edible insects. These studies give initial, valuable information on the allergic cross-reaction potentially following insect ingestion. ...
Article
Full-text available
Insect species intended for human consumption should be selected, managed, and prepared by taking into account traditional knowledge acquired in countries where insect consumption is customary. Existing evidence indicates that edible insects reared under controlled conditions are expected to pose no additional hazards compared with traditional animal products. Food safety research and regulatory issues should be implemented by addressing the insect food chain, taking into account species features, insect origins, farm management, and environmental conditions.
... This concept was supported by the identification of the pan allergen tropomyosin in the study of Leung, when nine shrimp allergic sera reacted also to insects including long-horned grasshopper (Tettigoniidae), cockroach and fruit fly [29]. Pener et al. in their comprehensive review on allergy to locusts and acridid grasshoppers expressed the urgent need that " the molecular structure of the allergens " should be revealed [30]. Clinical example: Specific sensitization to grasshopper in a reptile home A bearded dragon was purchased by the parents of an eight-year old boy (family A) as pet surrogate and installed with its terrarium in the living room of an apartment in Vienna. ...
... We evidence here that indeed via grasshoppers as feed for reptiles within a short time period a highly specific, clinically relevant hypersensitivity with severe asthma can be induced with a long-term memory. The reptile keeping in the home results in airborne dissemination of allergens from wings, legs and -according to the lit- erature [30] -from the peritrophic envelope of feces, and at an allergen level sufficient for sensitization as well as triggering of symptoms. ...
Article
Full-text available
The numbers of reptiles in homes has at least doubled in the last decade in Europe and the USA. Reptile purchases are increasingly triggered by the attempt to avoid potentially allergenic fur pets like dogs and cats. Consequently, reptiles are today regarded as surrogate pets initiating a closer relationship with the owner than ever previously observed. Reptile pets are mostly fed with insects, especially grasshoppers and/or locusts, which are sources for aggressive airborne allergens, best known from occupational insect breeder allergies. Exposure in homes thus introduces a new form of domestic allergy to grasshoppers and related insects. Accordingly, an 8-year old boy developed severe bronchial hypersensitivity and asthma within 4 months after purchase of a bearded dragon. The reptile was held in the living room and regularly fed with living grasshoppers. In the absence of a serological allergy diagnosis test, an IgE immunoblot on grasshopper extract and prick-to-prick test confirmed specific sensitization to grasshoppers. After 4 years of allergen avoidance, a single respiratory exposure was sufficient to trigger a severe asthma attack again in the patient. Based on literature review and the clinical example we conclude that reptile keeping is associated with introducing potent insect allergens into home environments. Patient interviews during diagnostic procedure should therefore by default include the question about reptile pets in homes.
... Regarding the first issue, as old and new treatises on medical entomology show, the Orthoptera do not count as specially noxious insects (Patton & Cragg 1913;Riley & Johanssen 1915;Lane & Crosskey 1993;Mullen & Durden 2009). However, this does not imply they are completely harmless: they may be allergenic or vectors or reservoirs of cholera and the vesicular stomatitis virus (Showler 1996;Nunamaker et al. 2003;Hill & Goddard 2012;Pener 2014). Nevertheless, a great number of healing properties have been attributed to orthopteran species since ancient times, as summarised by Cowan (1865) and Weiss (1947). ...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between orthopterans and humanity has multiple faces. They are excellent subjects of research in all areas of biology, but they may be from a mild nuisance to formidable enemies as in the case of plague locusts. However, many species have been since long ago, providers of aesthetic pleasure, nutrition and folk medicine practices. In this review, I explore three subjects that fall within the fields of ethnoentomology and cultural entomology namely, the use of orthopterans as food, their medicinal utilisation, and their role as pets and entertainment.
... Proteins identified as locust allergens in raw and fried locusts differed except for hexamerin being present in both: enolase and arginine kinase in raw locusts and pyruvate kinase, enolase and glyceraldehyde-3phosphate dehydrogenase in fried locusts. Food allergic reaction to other insect species, such as grasshoppers and locusts, have been reported (105) . ...
Article
Full-text available
The global increase in demand for meat and the limited land area available prompt the search for alternative protein sources. Also the sustainability of meat production has been questioned. Edible insects as an alternative protein source for human food and animal feed are interesting in terms of low greenhouse gas emissions, high feed conversion efficiency, low land use, and their ability to transform low value organic side streams into high value protein products. More than 2000 insect species are eaten mainly in tropical regions. The role of edible insects in the livelihoods and nutrition of people in tropical countries is discussed, but this food source is threatened. In the Western world, there is an increasing interest in edible insects, and examples are given. Insects as feed, in particular as aquafeed, have a large potential. Edible insects have about the same protein content as conventional meat and more PUFA. They may also have some beneficial health effects. Edible insects need to be processed and turned into palatable dishes. Food safety may be affected by toxicity of insects, contamination with pathogens, spoilage during conservation and allergies. Consumer attitude is a major issue in the Western world and a number of strategies are proposed to encourage insect consumption. We discuss research pathways to make insects a viable sector in food and agriculture: an appropriate disciplinary focus, quantifying its importance, comparing its nutritional value to conventional protein sources, environmental benefits, safeguarding food safety, optimising farming, consumer acceptance and gastronomy.
... Although insects are generally safe to consume, further researches are required to evaluate relative factors such as different species of insects and those fed on different feeds and reared in different conditions. With contact, inhalation or oral consumption, insects can be a source of allergens for some sensitive people (Belluco et al., 2013;Pener, 2014;Srinroch et al., 2015). Twelve orders of insects are associated with human allergies (Dan, 2002). ...
Article
Full-text available
The use of edible insects has a long history in China, where they have been consumed for more than two thousand years. In general, the level of acceptance is high for the consumption of insects in China. Many studies on edible insects have been conducted in the last twenty years, and the scope of the research includes the culture of entomophagy and the identification, nutritional value, farming and breeding of edible insects, in addition to food production and safety. Currently, 324 species of insects from 11 orders are documented that are either edible or associated with entomophagy in China, which include the common edible species, some less commonly consumed species, and some medicinal insects. However, only approximately 10 to 20 types of insects are consumed regularly. The nutritional values for 174 species are available in China, including edible, feed and medicinal species. Although the nutritional values vary among species, all the insects examined contain protein, fat, vitamins and minerals at levels that meet human nutritional requirements. Edible insects were, and continue to be, consumed by different ethnic groups in many parts of China. People directly consume insects or food products made from insects. The processing of products from insect protein powder, oil, and chitin and the development of health care foods has been studied in China. People also consume insects indirectly by eating livestock that were fed insects, which may be a more acceptable pathway to use insects in human diets. Although limited, the data on the food safety of insects indicate that insects are safe for food or feed. Incidences of allergic reactions after consuming silkworm pupae, cicades and crickets have been reported in China. Insect farming is a unique breeding industry in rural China and is a source of income for local people. Insects are reared and bred for human food, medicine and animal feed using two approaches in China: the insects are either fully domesticated and reared completely in captivity or are partially raised in captivity, and the insect habitat is manipulated to increase production. Depending on the type of relationship the insect has with humans, plants, and the environment, different farming strategies are used. The social and scientific communities must work together to promote the use of insects as food and feed. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... According to Pener (2014) allergic reactions due to consumption of grasshoppers, locusts and crickets can be acute. Piromrat, Chinratanapisit, and Trathong (2008) reported seven cases of anaphylaxis caused by fried grasshoppers and crickets during a two-year-period in a hospital emergency department in Thailand. ...
Article
Full-text available
In many African cultures, insects are part of the diet of humans and domesticated animals. Compared to conventional food and feed sources, insects have been associated with a low ecological foot print because fewer natural resources are required for their production. To this end, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recognized the role that edible insects can play in improving global food and nutrition security; processing technologies, as well as packaging and storage techniques that improve shelf-life were identified as being crucial. However, knowledge of these aspects in light of nutritional value, safety, and functionality is fragmentary and needs to be consolidated. This review attempts to contribute to this effort by evaluating the available evidence on postharvest processes for edible insects in Africa, with the aim of identifying areas that need research impetus. It further draws attention to potential postharvest technology options for overcoming hurdles associated with utilization of insects for food and feed. A greater research thrust is needed in processing and this can build on traditional knowledge. The focus should be to establish optimal techniques that improve presentation, quality and safety of products, and open possibilities to diversify use of edible insects for other benefits.
... One of the safety points that have to be considered according to the Novel Food directive is the allergenicity of edible insects. For many insect species, it is already well-established that longterm, high-antigen environmental exposure, e.g. of professional insect farmers, leads to respiratory sensitization in a percentage of up to 50-60% of individuals rearing grasshoppers (Pener 2014;Lopata et al. 2005) or silkworm (Uragoda and Wijekoon 1991). Allergenicity also has to be considered in the domestic context. ...
Article
Full-text available
While seeking novel food sources to feed the increasing population of the globe, several alternatives have been discussed, including algae, fungi or in vitro meat. The increasingly propagated usage of farmed insects for human nutrition raises issues regarding food safety, consumer information and animal protection. In line with law, insects like any other animals must not be reared or manipulated in a way that inflicts unnecessary pain, distress or harm on them. Currently, there is a great need for research in the area of insect welfare, especially regarding species-specific needs, health, farming systems and humane methods of killing. Recent results from neurophysiological, neuroanatomical and behavioral sciences prompt caution when denying consciousness and therefore the likelihood of presence of pain and suffering or something closely related to it to insects. It also needs to be determined what the costs of implementing welfare standards would be, and whether we are willing to pay the price. From an animal protection point of view, these issues should be satisfyingly solved before propagating and establishing intensive husbandry systems for insects as a new type of mini-livestock factory farming.
... Special attention should be paid to the health of farm employees to identify the potentially adverse effects of insect farming. According to the literature, daily handling of edible insects could contribute to allergies [123,124]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Insects are increasingly being considered as an attractive source of protein that can cater to the growing demand for food around the world and promote the development of sustainable food systems. Commercial insect farms have been established in various countries, mainly in Asia, but in Europe, edible insects have not yet emerged as a viable alternative to traditional plant- and animal-based sources of protein. In this paper, we present an interdisciplinary overview of the technological aspects of edible insect farming in the context of the EU regulations and marketing. Based on a review of the literature, we have concluded that edible insect farming can be a viable business sector that significantly contributes to the overall sustainability of food systems if the appropriate regulations are introduced and food safety standards are guaranteed. However, the success of the edible insect industry also requires consumer acceptance of entomophagy, which is rather low in Western societies. Therefore, targeted marketing strategies are indispensable to support the implementation of edible insect programs.
... 7,8 Several cases of occupational allergies have been described as allergies to the migratory locust, American locusts and grasshoppers, with symptoms of asthma, dermatitis, rhinitis and even shock. 9 Moreover, a survey of the work-related symptoms indicated wheezing or breathlessness accounted for 26% of the symptoms, followed by rhinitis, asthma and urticaria. 10 Questionnaires, skin prick tests (SPTs) and sIgE measurements showed that 25-55% of individuals working in a research centre were allergic to locusts. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Occupational exposure to locusts induces a high prevalence of allergic sensitization. However, knowledge on occupational locust allergens remains unclear. Objective: This study aimed to identify the allergens from locusts causing occupational allergies. Methods: We conducted a survey of 57 persons exposed to locusts using questionnaires and immunological tests for occupational allergies in long-term locust laboratories. The major allergen was identified by immunoblotting and analysed by mass spectrometry. The allergenicity of the allergen was assessed by sIgE detection, immunoblotting and ELISA inhibition assays. Results: The survey indicated that the frequency of locust occupational allergies was 40.4% among subjects exposed to locust. The symptoms in most males were allergic rhinitis, while females showed higher prevalence of atopic dermatitis. Occupational exposure increased the allergy risk. The recombinant hexamerin-2 protein possesses high allergenicity in the allergic exposure group. Hexamerin-2 protein can inhibit IgE reactivity with locust protein extracts by approximately 60%. The potential for cross-reactivity with cockroaches was indicated by sequence alignment of hexamerin-2 protein and allergens of cockroaches. Conclusion: The hexamerin-2 protein of locusts as an important allergen was identified. Therefore, occupational exposure is an important risk factor for locust allergy.
... En Tailandia, las anafilaxias alimentarias fueron en un 19,4 % debido a la ingesta de las mismas especies. Siete casos de anafilaxia tras ingesta de saltamontes fritos y langostas fueron reportados durante 2 años en un hospital tailandés (Pener, 2014). En otro enfoque, en Laos, la prevalencia de reacciones alérgicas entre población consumidora de insectos fue del 7,6 %, sin detallarse las especies causantes. ...
... In Thailand, food-induced anaphylaxis amounted to 19.4 % due to the intake of the same species. Seven cases of anaphylaxis following the intake of fried grasshoppers and locusts were reported during 2 years in a Thai hospital (Pener, 2014). In another approach, in Laos, the prevalence of allergic reactions in the insect-consuming population was 7.6 %, without giving details of the species concerned. ...
Technical Report
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There is currently significant international interest in promoting and enhancing the consumption of insects. Due to the nutritional properties together with the low ecological and economic impact of production, insect farming and the use of its by-products is turning into a promising food industry which is gradually being developed in Europe, supported by Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 on novel foods. In light of the possible increase in the consumption of food products derived from this type of animal, the Section of Food Safety and Nutrition of the Scientific Committee of the Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition (AECOSAN) has been asked to conduct an assessment of the microbiological and allergenic risks associated to eating insects. Insects are carriers of a highly diverse microbiota. Some of these microorganisms, both from the intestinal contents and from the external surface, are pathogens and may result in food-borne diseases. Technological treatments applied in the food industry, mainly heat treatments (boiling, frying, toasting), help to significantly reduce microbial counts. However, pathogenic spore-forming bacteria may survive these treatments and grow during storage prior to consumption. The risks of allergy associated with the consumption of insects may be linked to primary allergic reactions following intake or to cross-reactivity due to the presence of pan-allergens in patients already allergic to other invertebrates. Heat treatment reduces, but does not eliminate, all of the allergenicity of some of the proteins responsible for allergenic risk. Good hygiene practices must be applied during the farming, processing and marketing of insects intended for human consumption in order to control the microbiological hazards. Consequently, Guidelines to Good Hygiene Practices must be prepared to help food business operators to better understand Community legislation on food hygiene, and to apply it correctly and uniformly. In addition, operators who process and/or market insects intended for human consumption should introduce a system based on hazard analysis and critical control points. Translated from the original published in the journal: Revista del Comité Científico de la AECOSAN, 27, pp: 11-40 AECOSAN Scientific Committee: Microbiological and allergenic risks associated with the consumption of insects revista del comité científico nº 27 2 At present, no microbiological criteria have been defined for insects intended for human consumption. It therefore seems advisable to develop specific criteria applicable to this type of food product, considering the product type, the processing and other factors which may affect its quality and microbiological safety. At home, basic standards of hygiene should be adopted to minimise the risk of cross contamination , the proliferation of potentially pathogenic microorganisms and their survival.
... Insects can be a source of allergens by contact, inhalation, and oral ingestion. For insect species such as grasshoppers and silkworm, it is proven that long-term, high-antigen environmental exposures (this is the case of professional insect farmers), can cause respiratory sensitization in a percentage of up to 50-60% of individuals (Pener, 2014;Uragoda & Wijekoon, 1991). Ji et al. (2009) produced a report of allergies caused by food consumption in China between 1980 and2007. ...
Article
Background Edible insects are considered as traditional foods in over 100 countries of Asia, Africa, and South America. Apart from this traditional aspect, edible insects are gaining increasing interest as alternative food sources for the increasing world population. Scope and approach The purpose of this research was to give an overview on several aspects of edible insects: nutritional characteristics; physical, chemical, and microbiological hazards; presence of antinutritional substances or allergens; gathering and farming; production technologies and patents; legal status worldwide; socio-economic and ethical implications. Key findings and conclusions Edible insects supply amounts of protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals comparable to those of meat. Although the studies on the environmental sustainability of insect farming are still few, it is generally recognized their limited requirements for land and reduced emissions of greenhouse gases. Nevertheless, not all the species can be bred as a consequence of their specific temperature and light requirements. Insects can be considered as safe from a microbiological point of view but can contain residues of pesticides and heavy metal. Attention must be paid to the cross-reactions among allergens found within some insect species. Edible insects can be consumed as whole insects but, in order to increase their acceptability, they can be processed into an unrecognisable form. Many inventions concerning insect processing have been patented. The European Union has a specific new Regulation on novel foods that established an authorization procedure to sell insect-based foods unless their safe consumption for longer than 25 years in third countries is demonstrated. Farming insects can offer revenue opportunities mainly in developing countries.
... At this point we should mention that the need to balance the risks of locust invasion against the use of pesticides is especially highlighted by FAO's authorities, since it is known that the chemical pesticides may have adverse effects both on human health and on natural ecosystems. 6 Indeed, besides the fact that locust pheromones released in the air during their mating season can act as allergens and exacerbate or even cause asthma in about one to two years after initial exposure, 7,8 there is compelling evidence -coming from studies among farmers -that high levels of exposure to chemical pesticides are associated to asthma. 8 The mechanisms behind the signaling pathways that link pesticide exposure to asthma development or exacerbation have not yet been fully elucidated. ...
... 7,8 Several cases of occupational allergies have been described as allergies to the migratory locust, American locusts and grasshoppers, with symptoms of asthma, dermatitis, rhinitis and even shock. 9 Moreover, a survey of the work-related symptoms indicated wheezing or breathlessness accounted for 26% of the symptoms, followed by rhinitis, asthma and urticaria. 10 Questionnaires, skin prick tests (SPTs) and sIgE measurements showed that 25-55% of individuals working in a research centre were allergic to locusts. ...
Preprint
Background: Locusts as model systems are widely used in many biological laboratories worldwide. Occupational exposure to locusts induces a high prevalence of allergic sensitization. However, knowledge on occupational locust allergens remains unclear. This study aimed to identify a novel allergen from locusts that causes occupational allergies. Methods: We conducted a 20-year retrospective survey of 94 persons using questionnaires and a cross-sectional survey of 57 persons using questionnaires and immunological tests for occupational allergies in long-term locust laboratories. We identified the major allergens by immunoblotting and analysed them by LC-MS/MS. The allergenicity of the major allergen proteins was assessed by specific IgE (sIgE) detection, immunoblotting and ELISA inhibition assays. Results: The retrospective survey indicated that the frequency of occupational allergies was relatively low (13.8%), while the cross-sectional survey showed a higher frequency (40.4%). The symptoms in most allergic males were allergic rhinitis and asthma, while females showed higher prevalence of atopic dermatitis. Occupational exposure for 2-3 h per day or continuing one and half years obviously increased the allergy risk. We identified the hexamerin-2 protein as a major allergen in locusts. Purified hexamerin-2 protein achieved approximately 60% serum IgE reactivity with locust protein extract. The potential for cross-reactivity with cockroaches was indicated by sequence alignment of the hexamerin-2 protein and allergens of cockroaches. Conclusion: Occupational exposure is an important risk factor for locust allergy. The hexamerin-2 protein of locusts as a major allergen in occupational allergy was identified for the first time.
... Notably, that rearing environments must be suited to the focal insect species being reared including health and welfare aspects (Gjerris et al., 2016). Facilities must offer suitable feed and water sources, environmental controls, maintenance of hygiene, disease control and the ability to monitor and harvest the population (Belluco et al., 2013;Eilenberg et al., 2015;Halloran et al., 2016;Stoops et al., 2016), be a clean and safe working environment (Pener, 2014). Here it will be instructive to compare how these critical factors are delivered in small-scale insectas-food enterprises (using species for the food trade) and the current mass rearing systems for medical and pest control industries (using species not necessarily suited for human consumption). ...
Article
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As wild harvesting of insects gives way to mass rearing, there is an urgent need to develop expertise and methods in insect animal husbandry and facility design. In order to advance the science of animal husbandry and production in this field, comparisons and contrasts of different insect rearing facilities currently in production are likely to be beneficial. Here we initiate this discussion by suggesting a focus on insect rearing facilities at the two ends of the production scale spectrum (small-scale rearing and mass rearing) that have different end products (insects-as- food and insects for other purposes). We suggest that organisations with a philosophy of information sharing (e.g. universities) need to play an active role in this developing production system, by bridging gaps between academia, industry and traditional knowledge to ensure a rapid and societally acceptable development of wide-scale entomophagy.
Article
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Background Insects have become increasingly interesting as alternative nutrient sources for feeding humans and animals, most reasonably in processed form. Initially, some safety aspects — among them allergenicity — need to be addressed. Objective To reveal the cross-reactivity of shrimp-, mite- and flies-allergic patients to different edible insects, and further to assess the efficacy of food processing in reducing the recognition of insect proteins by patients' IgE and in skin prick testing of shrimp-allergic patients. Methods IgE from patients allergic to crustaceans, house dust mite or flies was evaluated for cross-recognition of proteins in house cricket Acheta domesticus (AD), desert locust Schistocerca gregaria (SG) and Yellow mealworm Tenebrio molitor (TM). Changes in IgE-binding and SPT-reactivity to processed insect extracts were determined for migratory locust (Locusta migratoria, LM), after different extraction methods, enzymatic hydrolysis, and thermal processing were applied. Results IgE from patients with crustacean-allergy shows cross-recognition of AD, SG and stable flies; house dust mite allergics' IgE binds to AD and SG; and the flies-allergic patient recognized cricket, desert locust and migratory locust. Cross-reactivity and allergenicity in SPT to LM can be deleted by conventional processing steps, such as hydrolysis with different enzymes or heat treatment, during the preparation of protein concentrates. Conclusion The results show that crustacean-, HDM- and stable flies-allergic patients cross-recognize desert locust and house cricket proteins, and crustacean-allergic patients also flies proteins. Furthermore, this study shows that appropriate food processing methods can reduce the risk of cross-reactivity and allergenicity of edible insects.
Article
The nutritional benefits associated with edible insects have led to the recognition of the important role that edible insects can play in improving global food and nutrition security. The acceptance of edible insects by consumers and the contribution of edible insects to food security are well studied. However, there is still a knowledge gap in terms of food safety hazards and anti-nutritional factors associated with edible insects. This review evaluated the available literature on safety of edible insects. Besides identifying food safety hazards, the effects of the production system (i.e. controlled rearing versus wild harvested) and processing method on the safety of the edible insects were also reviewed. The results showed that Europe had the highest number of publications, 50.0% (47/94), on safety of edible insects, followed by Africa with 28.7% (27/94). Publications from the African continent are mainly on safety of wild harvested edible insects, while those published in Europe are on safety of reared edible insects. The results also revealed that processing methods that include boiling, frying and roasting greatly increase the safety of the edible insects. https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1Yjdc3PY0vU46T
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Globally, there is a need to seek alternative sources of protein in addition to meat. This has led to considerable interest in edible insects. Such insects form part of cultures and diets in many Asian and African countries, and are an excellent source of essential nutrients, minerals, vitamins and proteins. Furthermore, they have been reported to be sustainable. The ecological importance of insects is related to their short life cycles when reared and farmed. This makes them ideal in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, cutting land uses and polluted water, and reducing environmental contamination. However, the use of edible insects as food in Europe is minimal. To ensure safety of insects when eaten as food, considerations should be made on: microbiological contamination; toxicological hazards, e.g. chemical hazards and antinutrients; allergenicity issues that are related to different exposures, including injection, ingestion, inhalation and skin contact. In this review, we summarize the nutritional and sustainable values of edible insects, look at safety and legislative measures and we finally discuss future issues.
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Scope: Insects are a potentially environmentally friendly alternative dietary protein source to supplement mammalian and fish sources, but potential allergenic risks are a concern. Consumption of insects may result in anaphylaxis and has been implicated in cross-reactivity with shellfish. Many allergenic proteins may be involved in cross-reactivity including tropomyosin (TM). The uniformity of TM cross-reactivity among edible insects is unknown. We investigated candidate edible insects for variability in shellfish IgE cross-reactivity. Methods and results: Selected insects and known related sources of allergens were extracted and probed by immunoblot with sera/plasma from patients sensitized to insects or shellfish. Quantification of TM in these extracts was performed using MS/MS. A comparison of the quantity of TM and the IgE reactivity of TM from these insects was performed. Distinct patterns of IgE cross-reactivity were observed with three insect species showing diminished reactivity. This pattern was not consistent with the amount of TM present in these insects, or with overall sequence homology. Conclusions: Insects display a diversity of TM-associated IgE reactivity. It is likely that minor sequence features and/or structural effects are primarily responsible. Additionally, we demonstrate that some insect species may present significantly less IgE cross-reactivity to shrimp than do others. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Insects are of growing significance in veterinary medicine and human healthcare, therefore an understanding of their biology is very important. The cuticular and internal fatty acid compositions of Chorthippus brunneus males and females have been studied for the first time. The lipids of males and females were separated into classes of compounds using high performance liquid chromatography with a laser light scattering detector (LLSD). The FFA fractions obtained by HPLC were silylated and then analyzed by GC-MS. The cuticular lipids of males contained 15 saturated, 4 unsaturated with even-numbered and 2 unsaturated with odd-numbered carbon chains, free fatty acids ranging from C8 to C25. The major free fatty acids in males were C16 (20.8%), C18:2 (8.5%), C18:1 (32.9%), and C18 (24.4%). The cuticular lipids of females contained 17 saturated, 4 monounsaturated and 2 diunsaturated free fatty acids ranging from C8 to C30. The major cuticular fatty acids in females were: C16 (25.1%), C18:2 (6.2%), C18:1 (23.7%) and C18:0 (33.2%). The internal free fatty acids of males consisted of 20 compounds ranging from C8 to C26. Four of these compounds were detected as major compounds: C16 (14.1%), C18:2 (21.6%), C18:1 (38.0%), and C18 (22.5%). Among 18 internal free fatty acids of females, C16 (22.3%), C18:2 (10.9%), C18:1 (40.2%), and C18 (20.5%) were the most abundant compounds. The following cuticular fatty acids present in the lipids of females were absent in the lipids of males: C26, C27 and C30. On the other hand, only C24 was absent from the cuticular lipids of females. Only C10 and C24 internal fatty acids present in the lipids of males were absent in the lipids of females.
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Background: Respiratory allergy accounts for a significant burden of allergy all over the world. The prevalence of nasobronchial allergy is increasing globally. India has huge diversity in allergens in different region as it is a climatically diverse country. Objective: To study skin reactivity to various allergens in patients of nasobronchial allergy. Methods: Retrospective analysis was done of the patients of allergic rhinitis, bronchial asthma or both who underwent for skin prick test for all following three groups of allergens: pollens, dust and insects. Patients aged < 12 years of age were excluded from the analysis. Results: Amongst all allergens studied, insect group of allergens were more predominant. Most predominant allergen was moth (41.67%) followed by yellow wasp (37.5%), housefly (37.5%) and mosquito (33.33%). Amongst pollen group of allergen, most predominant allergens were Cassia Siamea (29.17%) followed by Morus Alba (25%) and Ricinus Communis (25%). Amongst dust group of allergen, most predominant allergens were Grain dust wheat (20.83%) and house dust (20.83%). Conclusion: In Gujarat insects allergens are most common in nasobronchial allergy and Moth being the commonest amongst insects. [Natl J of Med Res 2012; 2(4.000): 431-434]
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Allergic reactions to arthropods are some of the most important factors involved in the development of asthma and the precipitation of attacks. Although sensitization to arthropods occurs most frequently in atopic individ uals, continual exposure induces parallel sensitivities in a high percentage of non-atopics. The allergens involved are numerous, and although there is a degree of cross-reactivity most arthropod groups exhibit specific allergens that may be of somatic or excremental origin. Prevention is largely dependent upon allergen avoidance measures.
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Background: Sensitization to cockroach is one of the strongest identified risk factors for greater asthma morbidity in low-income urban communities; however, the timing of exposures relevant to the development of sensitization has not been elucidated fully. Furthermore, exposure to combustion byproducts, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), can augment the development of allergic sensitization. Objective: We sought to test the hypotheses that domestic cockroach allergen measured prenatally would predict cockroach sensitization in early childhood and that this association would be greater for children exposed to higher PAH concentrations. Methods: Dominican and African American pregnant women living in New York City were enrolled. In the third trimester expectant mothers wore personal air samplers for measurement of 8 nonvolatile PAHs and the semivolatile PAH pyrene, and dust was collected from homes for allergen measurement. Glutathione-S-transferase μ 1 (GSTM1) gene polymorphisms were measured in children. Allergen-specific IgE levels were measured from the children at ages 2, 3, 5, and 7 years. Results: Bla g 2 in prenatal kitchen dust predicted cockroach sensitization at the ages of 5 to 7 years (adjusted relative risk [RR], 1.15; P = .001; n = 349). The association was observed only among children with greater than (RR, 1.22; P = .001) but not less than (RR, 1.07; P = .24) the median sum of 8 nonvolatile PAH levels. The association was most pronounced among children with higher PAH levels and null for the GSTM1 gene (RR, 1.54; P = .001). Conclusions: Prenatal exposure to cockroach allergen was associated with a greater risk of allergic sensitization. This risk was increased by exposure to nonvolatile PAHs, with children null for the GSTM1 mutation particularly vulnerable.
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Skin prick testing is an essential test procedure to confirm sensitization in IgE-mediated allergic disease in subjects with rhinoconjunctivitis, asthma, urticaria, anapylaxis, atopic eczema and food and drug allergy. This manuscript reviews the available evidence including Medline and Embase searches, abstracts of international allergy meetings and position papers from the world allergy literature.The recommended method of prick testing includes the appropriate use of specific allergen extracts, positive and negative controls, interpretation of the tests after 15 -- 20 minutes of application, with a positive result defined as a wheal >=3 mm diameter. A standard prick test panel for Europe for inhalants is proposed and includes hazel (Corylus avellana), alder (Alnus incana), birch (Betula alba), plane (Platanus vulgaris), cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), grass mix (Poa pratensis, Dactilis glomerata, Lolium perenne, Phleum pratense, Festuca pratensis, Helictotrichon pretense), Olive (Olea europaea), mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), Alternaria alternata (tenuis), Cladosporium herbarum, Aspergillus fumigatus, Parietaria, cat, dog, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Dermatophagoides farinae, and cockroach (Blatella germanica).Standardization of the skin test procedures and standard panels for different geographic locations are encouraged worldwide to permit better comparisons for diagnostic, clinical and research purposes.
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Abstract The prevalence of allergy is rising globally at a very significant rate, which is currently at 20-40% of individuals in westernized nations. In the eye, allergic conditions can take on the acute form such as in seasonal and perennial allergic conjunctivitis, or a more severe and debilitating chronic form such as in vernal and atopic keratoconjunctivitis. Indeed, some key aspects of allergic eye disease pathophysiology are understood, such as the role of mast cells in the acute allergic reaction, and the contribution of eosinophils in late-onset and chronic allergy. However, recent developments in animal models and clinical studies have uncovered new and important roles for previously underappreciated players, including chemokine receptors on ocular surface dendritic cells such as CCR7, the contribution of conjunctival epithelium to immunity, histamine and leukotriene receptors on conjunctival goblet cells and a role for mast cells in late-onset manifestations. Furthermore, recent work in animal models has delineated the contribution of IL-4 in the increased incidence of corneal graft rejection in hosts with allergic conjunctivitis. Recent studies such as these mean that conventional paradigms and concepts should be revisited. The aim of this review is to highlight some of the most recent advances and insights on newly appreciated players in the pathogenesis of allergic eye disease.
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Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a worldwide health problem that generates a significant healthcare burden in adults, adolescents, and children. Epidemiological studies have indicated that the prevalence of AR has progressively increased over the last three decades in developed and industrialized countries. AR currently affects up to 40 % of the worldwide population, with differences between adults and children and different countries of the World. Although not life-threatening, AR symptoms are frequently bothersome, adversely affecting work and quality of life of the affected patients, and causing a significant burden on both the individual and society. The symptoms have the potential to lead to both physical and mental complications, with sleep-disordered breathing in childhood and adolescence being associated with disorders in learning performance, behavior, and attention. Clinical features and comorbidities are very important for the "allergic march", and in both adults and children there is some evidence of association between AR and asthma. ARIA classifications of both symptom duration (intermittent, persistent) and severity (mild, moderate, severe) have been validated in both adult and pediatric populations. Based on the duration and severity of patient's disease, an appropriate treatment strategy has been issued for both adults and children, which consists of patient's education, allergen avoidance, and pharmacological as well as allergen-specific immunotherapy treatment. The present review will attempt to compare the characteristics of AR between children and adults, either in the epidemiology, clinical features, impact on QOL, and management of the disease.
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Food security is a problem in many developing and less developed countries due to increase in human population and decrease in crop productivity and food availability. Edible insects are a natural renewable resource of food providing carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins. As such, entomophagy is common in ethnic groups in South America, Mexico, Africa and Asia, where indigenous insects are easily available and are consumed in various forms (raw/processed) or used as an ingredient or supplement in modern recipes. Entomophagy therefore offers an opportunity to bridge the protein gap of human foods irrespective of a few constraints that are discussed. Concerning food security, more attention is needed to assess and revalidate entomophagy in the context of modern life. Further research would be necessary to exploit insect biodiversity and ethno-entomophagy, stop overexploitation of these insects, and initiate actions for insect conservation.
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With a growing world population and increasingly demanding consumers, the production of sufficient protein from livestock, poultry, and fish represents a serious challenge for the future. Approximately 1,900 insect species are eaten worldwide, mainly in developing countries. They constitute quality food and feed, have high feed conversion ratios, and emit low levels of greenhouse gases. Some insect species can be grown on organic side streams, reducing environmental contamination and transforming waste into high-protein feed that can replace increasingly more expensive compound feed ingredients, such as fish meal. This requires the development of costeffective, automated mass-rearing facilities that provide a reliable, stable, and safe product. In the tropics, sustainable harvesting needs to be assured and rearing practices promoted, and in general, the food resource needs to be revalorized. In the Western world, consumer acceptability will relate to pricing, perceived environmental benefits, and the development of tasty insect-derived protein products. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Entomology Volume 58 is December 03, 2013. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/catalog/pubdates.aspx for revised estimates.
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Aggregation of the high affinity IgE receptor (FcεRI) on mast cells (MCs) causes MC degranulation, a process that involves cortical F-actin disassembly. Actin depolymerization may be triggered by increase of cytosolic Ca(2+). Entry of Ca(2+) through the Ca(2+)-release activated Ca(2+) (CRAC) channels is under powerful regulation by the serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase SGK1. Moreover, FcεRI-dependent degranulation is decreased in SGK1-deficient (sgk1-/-) MCs. The present study addressed whether SGK1 is required for actin cytoskeleton rearrangements in MCs and whether modulation of actin architecture could underlie decreased degranulation of sgk1(-/-)MCs. Confirming previous results, release of β-hexosaminidase reflecting FcεRI-dependent degranulation was impaired in sgk1(-/-)MCs as compared to sgk1(+/+)MCs. When CRAC channels were inhibited by 2-APB (50 µM), MC degranulation was strongly decreased in both sgk1(+/+) and sgk1(-/-)MCs and the difference between genotypes was abolished. Moreover, degranulation was impaired by actin-stabilizing (phallacidin) and enhanced by actin-disrupting (cytochalasin B) agents to a similar extent in sgk1(+/+)MCs and sgk1(-/-)MCs, implying a regulatory role of actin reorganization in this event. In line with this, measurements of monomeric (G) and filamentous (F) actin content by FACS analysis and Western blotting of detergent soluble and insoluble cell fractions indicated an increase of the G/F-actin ratio in sgk1(+/+)MCs but not in sgk1(-/-)MCs upon FcεRI ligation, an observation reflecting actin depolymerization. In sgk1(+/+)MCs FcεRI-induced actin depolymerization was abolished by 2-APB. The observed actin reorganization was confirmed by confocal laser microscopic analysis. Our observations uncover SGK1-dependent Ca(2+) entry in mast cells as a novel mechanism regulating actin cytoskeleton.
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The cockroach represents one of the most common sources of indoor allergens worldwide, and 40%-60% of patients with asthma in urban and inner-city areas possess IgE antibodies to cockroach allergens. In Korean homes, four cockroach species have been found, of which the most commonly encountered is the German cockroach. The pathogenic mechanism underlying the association between cockroach allergens and allergic diseases has not been fully elucidated. Allergenicity is associated with the cockroach allergens themselves, enzymatic protease activity, and ligands for pattern recognition receptors. Although allergen-specific adaptive immune responses orchestrate the cockroach allergic response, recent data suggest that the innate immune system is also a critical contributor to pathogenesis. We review the current evidence for the demographics of cockroach exposure and sensitization, characteristics of cockroach allergens, and inflammatory responses to cockroach allergens initiated through protease-dependent pathways.
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A review of case reports of anaphylactic shock and lethal anaphylaxis caused by food consumption occurring in China was conducted. Case reports published in Chinese medical journals from 1980 to 2007 were considered in the review. According to these reports, the most common allergenic offenders were pineapple, soft-shelled turtle and crab.
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The wisdom that indigenous people have regarding bioprospecting is embedded in their belief system and their culture. Food insects play an important role in the new insect focus. Ants, bees, termites, caterpillars, water bugs, beetle larvae, flies, crickets, katydids, cicadas, and dragonfly nymphs are among a long list of edible insects that provide nutrition for the people of Asia, Australia, Africa, South America, the Middle East, and the Far East. Insects represent an important food source for a wide variety of other animal species. By weight, termites, grasshoppers, caterpillars, weevils, houseflies and spiders are better sources of protein than beef, chicken, pork or lamb. The traditional healers use Insects as medicine. Chemicals produced by insects against self defense can be used for antibacterial and anticancer drugs. The nutritional and economic value of edible insects is often neglected and we should further encourage their collection and commercialization, given the benefits to the environment and human health. It is an interesting concept, managing pest insects by developing them into a sought after delicacy.
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The influence of processing methods of toasting and solar drying on the in vitro protein digestibility and vitamins content of edible winged termites, green grasshoppers, and brown grasshoppers consumed in Siaya, district of Kenya, was determined using standard methods. Analysis was done on fresh, toasted, toasted dried, and fresh dried insect samples. There was no significant change (p > 0.05) in protein digestibility in the termite samples, while a significant decrease (p ≤ 0.05) in the grasshopper samples was observed on toasting and drying. There was a significant reduction (p ≤ 0.05) in riboflavin content with 4.18mg/100g in fresh termites, 2.76mg/100g in toasted termites, 2.26mg/100g in fresh dried termites, and 1.50mg/100g in toasted dried termites on processing. There was also a significant reduction (p ≤ 0.05) in niacin content in the grasshoppers with 3.61mg/100g in fresh green grasshopper, 3.28mg/100g in toasted green grasshopper, 3.22mg/100g in fresh dried green grasshoppers, and 3.06mg/100g in toasted dried green grasshoppers. A significant reduction (p ≤ 0.05) in retinol content with 2.24μg/g in fresh termites, 1.56μg/g in toasted termites, 1.02μg/g in toasted dried termites, and 0.98μg/g in fresh dried termites was also reported. The processing methods of the insects affected their nutrient potential as evidenced by the changes in protein digestibility and vitamins content. Therefore, optimal processing methods need to be investigated even as we promote commercialization of these insects. KeywordsProcessing-Edible insects-Protein digestibility-Vitamin
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This study aimed to develop a method for the assessment of allergic dermatitis by using the long-wavelength near-infrared spectrum (more than 1000 nm) to detect intracutaneous allergic type-specific elements. Such a method was realized by establishing a spectral classifier for the spectra of type I and type IV allergic dermatitis reactions. Near-infrared spectral images of histamine-induced cutaneous reaction (type I) and contact hypersensitivity erythema elicited by squaric acid dibutylester (SADBE; type IV) were obtained, and the absorption spectra of normal and inflamed skin were extracted from these spectral images. A spectral classifier was established from these training datasets, and it was then applied to two test cases, red flare by methyl nicotinate (normal) and metal allergy (type IV). The spectral classifier established by canonical discriminant analysis (CDA) achieved very accurate detection (normal: 87.67%, type I: 87.00%, type IV: 98.5%). Furthermore, the test cases were also correctly classified: the red flare induced by methyl nicotinate was categorized as normal skin and the metal allergy was categorized as a type IV allergic reaction. These results suggest a possible application of near-infrared spectral imaging to the assessment of allergic dermatitis.
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Allergen-specific immunotherapy (allergen-SIT) is a potentially curative treatment approach in allergic diseases. It has been used for almost 100 years as a desensitizing therapy. The induction of peripheral T cell tolerance and promotion of the formation of regulatory T-cells are key mechanisms in allergen-SIT. Both FOXP3+CD4+CD25+ regulatory T (Treg) cells and inducible IL-10- and TGF-β-producing type 1 Treg (Tr1) cells may prevent the development of allergic diseases and play a role in successful allergen-SIT and healthy immune response via several mechanisms. The mechanisms of suppression of different pro-inflammatory cells, such as eosinophils, mast cells and basophils and the development of allergen tolerance also directly or indirectly involves Treg cells. Furthermore, the formation of non-inflammatory antibodies particularly IgG4 is induced by IL-10. Knowledge of these molecular basis is crucial in the understanding the regulation of immune responses and their possible therapeutic targets in allergic diseases.
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A number of specialist food suppliers in the UK breed and distribute insects and insect larvae as food for exotic pets, such as reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. To investigate the extent of work-related (WR) symptoms and workplace-specific serum IgE in workers potentially exposed to a variety of biological contaminants, including insect and insect larvae allergens, endotoxin and cereal allergens at a UK specialist insect breeding facility. We undertook a study of respiratory symptoms and exposures at the facility, with subsequent detailed clinical assessment of one worker. All 32 workers were assessed clinically using a respiratory questionnaire and lung function. Eighteen workers consented to provide serum for determination of specific IgE to workplace allergens. Thirty-four per cent (11/32) of insect workers reported WR respiratory symptoms. Sensitization, as judged by specific IgE, was found in 29% (4/14) of currently exposed workers. Total inhalable dust levels ranged from 1.2 to 17.9 mg/m(3) [mean 4.3 mg/m(3) (SD 4.4 mg/m(3)), median 2.0 mg/m(3)] and endotoxin levels of up to 29435 EU/m(3) were recorded. Exposure to organic dusts below the levels for which there are UK workplace exposure limits can result in respiratory symptoms and sensitization. The results should alert those responsible for the health of similarly exposed workers to the potential for respiratory ill-health and the need to provide a suitable health surveillance programme.
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Chitin is the second most abundant polysaccharide in the world; it is found in insects, parasites and fungi. Chitinases break down chitin, and are a part of the defence mechanism against chitin-containing parasites in lower life forms. This review is based on the results of PubMed-searches using the search-terms: chitin, chitinase, allergy and asthma. Research in murine models has proved that chitin is a size-dependent microbial-associated molecular pattern, with the ability to induce an immunological response via pattern recognition receptors. Medium-sized chitin micro-particles (CMPs) have been shown to induce inflammation, while small-sized CMPs reduce inflammation. The amount of acidic mammalian chitinase correlates with asthma, and the enzyme has been shown to induce chemokine secretion in murine lungs. The high prevalence of asthma among people working with chitinous substances, such as crabs and fungi, supports the hypothesis that chitin might be an allergen playing a role of significance in the development of asthma. This new knowledge about chitin and chitinases, combined with the hygiene-hypothesis, may contribute to a model for the pathogenesis of allergic conditions where chitin and chitinases are potential therapeutic targets.
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Allergic diseases have reached epidemic proportions worldwide. An understanding of the cellular and soluble mediators that are involved in allergic inflammatory responses not only helps in understanding the mechanisms of current treatments, but is also important for the identification of new targets that are amenable to both small-molecule and biological interventions. There is now considerable optimism with regards to tackling the allergy epidemic in light of improvements in systemic and mucosal allergen-specific immunotherapy, the identification of key cytokines and their receptors that drive T-helper-2-cell polarization, a clearer understanding of the pathways of leukocyte recruitment and the signalling pathways that are involved in cell activation and mediator secretion, and new approaches to vaccine development.
Chapter
Arthropods cause a wide range of health problems in humans (Table 4.1). Arthropods injure hosts by (1) feeding on their fluids or tissues, (2) inflicting toxic stings or bites, (3) stimulating allergies and hypersensitivity reactions, (4) inducing phobias and psychoses and (5) accidental infestation and invasion. Arthropod injury is perceived falsely in entomophobia and delusory parasitosis, but these conditions still represent important health problems. Arthropod-caused injuries are usually the result of direct contact with arthropods but as in the case of airborne allergens, may result from indirect contact. Also, skin or tissue damage caused by arthropods can open the door to serious secondary bacterial infections.
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This review highlights some of the research advances in allergic skin disease, anaphylaxis, and hypersensitivity reactions to foods, drugs, and insects that were reported primarily in the Journal in 2004. Clinical observations included that gastrointestinal symptoms during anaphylaxis are associated with an increased risk for hypotension; recurrence of peanut allergy can occur for about 8% of children who pass an oral food challenge and is associated with continued avoidance of the food after the challenge; seafood allergy is reported by 2.3% of the US population; and determination of the time to resolution of childhood egg and milk allergy might be predictable by means of serial determination of food-specific IgE levels. The comorbid effects of atopic dermatitis (AD) on asthma and the role of topical calcineurin inhibitors in the therapy of AD were also addressed. Basic and translational research observations indicate that improved diagnosis and therapy might become possible on the basis of reported identification or characterization of allergens such as: lipid transfer proteins and birch pollen-related cross-reactive allergens in plant foods; proteins in scorpion venom that cross-react with proteins from imported fire ant; mosquito saliva proteins responsible for systemic anaphylaxis; and IgE binding to quinolones detectable with an in vitro immunoassay. In addition, advances in understanding immune regulation associated with abrogation of oral tolerance in food allergy and of dendritic cell function, modulation of regulatory T cells, and chemokine expression in AD have elucidated possible targets for future intervention.
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?Increasing world population worsens the serious problem of food security in developing countries. On the other hand in industrialized countries, where the problem of food security is of minor concern, health problems related to food refer to 2 main factors: food safety and environmental sustainability of food production. For these reasons, new ways must be found to increase yields while preserving food quality, natural habitats, and biodiversity. Insects could be of great interest as a possible solution due to their capability to satisfy 2 different requirements: (i) they are an important source of protein and other nutrients; (ii) their use as food has ecological advantages over conventional meat and, in the long run, economic benefits. However, little is known on the food safety side and this can be of critical importance to meet society's approval, especially if people are not accustomed to eating insects. This paper aims to collect information in order to evaluate how insects could be safely used as food and to discuss nutritional data to justify why insect food sources can no longer be neglected. Legislative issues will also be discussed.
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Although large size is considered an evolved antipredator defense for some vertebrates and shellfish, large size is generally not considered an adaptive defensive trait in insects. Here we propose that large size in chemically defended grasshoppers has evolved as a beneficial antipredator trait. The lubber grasshoppers Romalea microptera and Taeniopoda eques are the largest grasshoppers in North America north of Mexico. These closely related species escape most vertebrate predation by possessing powerful predator-deterrent toxins and by nocturnal roosting. We hypothesize that escape from vertebrate predation allowed lubbers to evolve a larger body size, increased fecundity and provided many other benefits, including defense against invertebrate predators. To test the hypotheses that large lubber size reduces predation, we conducted feeding trials with wolf spiders (Honga carolinensis), assassin bugs (Arilus cristatus), preying mantids (Tenodera aridifolia), fire ants (Solenopsis invicta), frogs (Rana pipiens), and birds (Sturnus vulgaris and Passer domesticus). Our results show that larger lubber instars enjoyed a highly significant advantage vis-à-vis predators, demonstrating the adaptive value of large size against both vertebrate and invertebrate predators. Adult lubbers were generally immune from predation. It appears that lubbers have evolved to occupy a relatively predator-free ecological space: they are too large to be attacked by most invertebrate predators and too toxic for most vertebrate predators. We propose an evolutionary scenario whereby a change in feeding behavior toward vertebrate-toxic plants served as an evolutionary breakthrough, setting in motion the subsequent evolution of increased chemical defense and large body size in lubbers. To determine if large size is associated with chemical defense in grasshoppers in general, we compared body sizes of ~ 40 toxic vs ~ 3,000 nontoxic grasshopper species. Our results show that chemically defended species tend to be larger than nondefended grasshoppers, supporting an association between chemical defense and large size in insects. Large size may be favored in insects when vertebrate predation is removed as a strong selective factor.
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This report has been prepared by an EAACI task force representing the five EAACI Sections and the EAACI Executive Committee composed of specialists that reflect the broad opinion on allergy expressed by various clinical and basic specialties dealing with allergy. The aim of this report is to propose a revised nomenclature for allergic and related reactions that can be used independently of target organ or patient age group. The nomenclature is based on the present knowledge of the mechanisms which initiate and mediate allergic reactions. However, the intention has not been to revise the nomenclature of nonallergic hypersensitivity.
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The authors report two cases of respiratory allergy to the migratory locust (Locusta migratoria) occurring in two researchers working in a laboratory where about 15 000 locusts are raised. After a period of exposure of six months for one and of three months for the other one, rhinitis and asthma appeared and re-occurred after each contact with the locusts. The intradermal reactions brought on with an extract of locust body and droppings are positive in concentrations of 1/100 000, and 1/1 000 000. Cellular sensitivity, studied by means of histamine release in vitro, is 10−7 mg/ml in one of the cases, and 2.5 × 10−8 mg/ml in the other. After a brief recall of the system, the morphology, and the ecology of the locusts, the different hypotheses concerning the active allergenic reactions responsible for the respiratory allergy are studied. These fractions seem to be contained in the cuticle and the excreta which, as they dry up, form a very powdery mixture. The cuticle contains three major fractions : arthropodin, sclerotin and chitin ; only the first, of a protein nature, produces allergy. The existence of reactions of a similar type to other arthropods and to household dust, is discussed. When removal is not possible, the treatment of respiratory allergy to locusts rests on preventive measures such as the wearing of air-tight suits. Disodium cromoglycate and desensitization also deserve to be attempted.
Article
Glucocorticoids are compounds that have successfully been used over the years in the treatment of inflammatory disorders. They are known to exhibit their effects through the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) that acts to downregulate the action of proinflammatory transcription factors such as AP-1 and NF-κB. The GR also exerts anti-inflammatory effects through activation of distinct genes. In addition to their anti-inflammatory actions, glucocorticoids are also potent anti-allergic compounds that are widely used in conditions such as asthma and anaphylaxis. Nevertheless the mechanism of action of this hormone in these disorders is not known. In this article, we have reviewed reports on the effects of glucocorticoids in mast cells, one of the important immune cells in allergy. Building on the knowledge of the molecular action of glucocorticoids and the GR in the treatment of inflammation in other cell types, we have made suggestions as to the likely mechanisms of action of glucocorticoids in mast cells. We have further identified some important questions and research directions that need to be addressed in future studies to improve the treatment of allergic disorders.
Article
Food allergy is a common disease that is rapidly increasing in prevalence for reasons that remain unknown. Current research efforts are focused on understanding the immune basis of food allergy, identifying environmental factors that may contribute to its rising prevalence, and developing immunotherapeutic approaches to establish immune tolerance to foods. Technological advances such as peptide microarray and MHC class II tetramers have begun to provide a comprehensive profile of the immune response to foods. The burgeoning field of mucosal immunology has provided intriguing clues to the role of the diet and the microbiota as risk factors in the development of food allergy. The purpose of this review is to highlight significant gaps in our knowledge that need answers to stem the progression of this disorder that is reaching epidemic proportions.
Article
Allergic diseases including asthma, rhinitis and eczema are a major health and economic burden worldwide. Specific immunotherapy (SIT) is potentially curative but restricted in use, e.g. for asthmatics, due to risk of serious adverse events. Safer, effective SIT preparations require elucidation of mechanisms and immunoregulatory factors. Allergen-specific T cells play a pivotal role. For allergic individuals, allergen-stimulated T cells largely secrete IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13 (Th2-type cytokines), whereas non-allergics show predominant IFN-γ secretion (Th1-type). Clinically successful SIT is accompanied by altered allergen-specific T cell response, with decreased Th2/Th1 ratio, enhanced IL-10 secretion and regulatory T cell induction. Contributing factors include allergen concentration and form, adjuvant and antigen presenting cell type. In conventional SIT, high dose unfractionated allergen extracts are injected incrementally via the subcutaneous route. To avoid adverse IgE-mediated events but retain efficacy, hypoallergenic T cell-reactive allergen derivatives can be used. These include peptides containing dominant T cell epitopes of allergens, chemically-modified allergens, and recombinant whole or mutant allergens. Such approaches have been evaluated successfully in animal models and early phase clinical trials. Adjuvants and carriers including bacterial and viral components, liposomes and DNA vaccines also promote repolarisation of T cell response and regulatory T cell induction. However caution is needed as excessive IFN-γ secretion may invoke pathogenic inflammation. Sublingual administration has fewer adverse events and is gaining popularity for respiratory allergens, and other routes including intranasal and oral are under evaluation. T cell targeted strategies will facilitate wider clinical application of SIT and reliable laboratory assays for monitoring treatment.
Article
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic inflammatory skin disease with a large impact on quality of life of the patients and their families. In most cases, the diagnosis of AD can easily be made based on (family) history and clinical examination. If necessary, a practical set of diagnostic criteria such as the UK diagnostic criteria can be used. During the diagnostic phase, it is important to pay attention to atopic comorbidity, such as allergic airway disease (allergic asthma and/or rhinitis), allergic eye disease (atopic (kerato) conjunctivitis) and immediate-type food allergy. This will not have direct consequences for the treatment of AD, but may be important for the overall well-being of the patient. Psychological factors, such as family circumstances, work/school performance and lifestyle factors should also be explored. Severity scoring using properly validated scoring lists may not be necessary for the diagnosis, however, is recommended for monitoring therapy. Simple scoring systems, such as TIS and IGA are easy to perform in daily practice. Several flare factors in AD, such as exposure to irritants or UV light, can be identified by history and clinical examination: in individual cases, additional diagnostic tests may sometimes be useful to confirm clinical suspicion. There is only limited evidence that allergen exposure to aeroallergens and/or food allergens influences AD severity. Therefore, routine allergen testing is not necessary for diagnosis and treatment of AD. The decision to perform allergen tests mainly depends on atopic comorbidity.
Article
Anaphylaxis is in most cases an IgE-dependent immunologic reaction. Mast cells are activated and release several mediators. Recent data about possible triggers of anaphylaxis indicate a clear age-dependency. The most frequent triggers of anaphylaxis in children are foods; in adults venom and drugs predominate. In 2006 an anaphylaxis registry was established in German-speaking countries. In the registry the triggers, circumstances, and treatment measures are collected from patients with anaphylaxis. However, the registry cannot supply epidemiological data like prevalence or incidence rates since the registration of cases is based on collaboration with allergy centers only. Similarly, other approaches to obtain data on the epidemiology of anaphylaxis are problematic given that allergic reactions of varying severity are covered by a number of codes in the ICD-10. Research in the field of anaphylaxis is focused on the identification of risk factors. Several data indicate the relevance of co-factors and augmentation factors in well-defined patient groups. Among these factors physical activity, infection, alcohol and additives are relevant. In the future a unique coding system with a subtype analysis regarding the triggers and severity should help to provide data on the epidemiology of anaphylaxis. Furthermore the mechanisms of co-factors and identification of biomarkers for risk assessment are important research areas for the future.
Article
The collection, colonization and rearing of insects and other arthropods are prerequisites for many studies in Entomology and related fields. Problems inherent with these activities, especially with the mass rearing of some species, include health hazards associated with occupational exposure. There is extensive documentation of allergic responses to some arthropods (Ebeling 1975, Frazier 1969, Harwood and James 1979), especially the severe reactions to stinging Hymenoptera (Barnard 1973, Insect Allergy Committee 1965). There are, however, few reports in the literature documenting health hazards. associated with arthropod rearing even though many individuals are acutely aware of this problem because they, or their colleagues, exhibit allergic symptoms from exposure. This need for documentation resulted in the formation of an Insect Allergy Committee in response to an Entomological Society of America request to investigate the health hazards associated with occupational exposure to arthropods. An initial goal of this committee was to conduct a pilot survey to identify and begin to document the extent of this problem.
Article
Both atopy and diseases from the spectrum of dermatitis and eczema are among the most frequent clinical problems worldwide; nevertheless, they are still poorly defined and too frequently misdiagnosed. In the present review, studies pertinent to this topic were systematized and critically assessed with particular attention to definitions of relevant diseases. The overall message from the research done to date is that various types of dermatitis frequently coexist. Atopy and contact allergy seem independent, while there is insufficient data to state upon the relationship between atopy and allergic contact dermatitis. Furthermore, it seems at present that atopy does not, whereas atopic eczema does constitute a risk factor for irritant contact dermatitis. The interplay between atopy and diseases from the spectrum of dermatitis and eczema is not fully understood; nevertheless, their coexistence and overlapping are not rare. Therefore, every patient with eczema - regardless of age, sex or atopic status - should undergo an extensive diagnostic programme including each atopic eczema, irritant contact dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, and protein contact dermatitis. Better definitions and well designed studies are necessary to achieve detailed information on the complex relationships between each atopy, atopic eczema, and the three contact dermatitides.
Article
Copper and cadmium concentrations were monitored in a population of the grasshopperChorthippus brunneus in grasslands in and around a copper refinery. Total body copper and cadmium concentrations increased with site contamination levels from control to highly contaminated refinery site environments. Refinery site grasshoppers accumulated both metals throughout the summer and autumn reaching a peak concentration of 1,600 g/g for copper. The seasonal pattern of accumulation of copper and cadmium closely followed seasonal trends in metal contamination levels in the indigenous vegetation, particularlyAgrostis stolonifera. Copper accumulated progressively through the developmental instars ofC. brunneus. However, there was evidence of copper exclusion during the final moult. This may be linked to copper compartmentalization in the integument of the later instars. Metals were not evenly distributed within the grasshopper body; 85% of total body copper and cadmium is associated with the integument.
Article
Inhalant allergy to arthropods is of major social, economic, and medical importance. As seen in this review, immunologic techniques for evaluating the multitude of clinical problems that are known to exist are beginning to enable the clinical allergist to deal with these problems in more effective ways. Successful application of newer biotechnology methods in areas of protein isolation, characterization, and sequencing together with gene cloning technology should result in significant advances in our understanding and management of inhalant arthropod allergy.
Article
Current definition of asthma involves four cornerstones: inflammation, hyperresponsiveness, bronchoconstriction, and symptoms. In research, the symptoms have had the slightest attention. According to international guidelines, the asthma symptoms are episodic breathlessness, wheeze, cough, tightness of the chest, and shortness of breath. As there are several symptoms, a primary question is how they are related to bronchoconstriction, the main clinical feature of asthma. Symptoms and lung function tests are regularly used for the evaluation of clinical health status and effect of treatment. However, there is no or poor correlation between these two variables, which means that they represent different mechanisms. Reduced lung function, such as a low FEV(1) , represents bronchial constriction, what do the symptoms represent? Some symptoms such as breathlessness and shortness of breath seem not to be evidence-based asthma symptoms. Focusing on bronchial obstruction is important in view of the potential risk of asthma attacks, but nonobstructive symptoms occur frequently and may also cause severe discomfort and poor quality of life. Interpreting all symptoms as signs of bronchoconstriction (asthma) may lead to misinterpretation when assessing health status and effect of treatment. Although a 'soft' variable, the strength of symptoms is that they are representing various mechanisms. The physiological preconditions for control and defense of respiration must be considered in the diagnostic process, regardless of inflammation, allergy, psychology, or other etiological factors. Based on studies on dyspnea in cardiopulmonary diseases, including asthma and asthma-like disorders, there seems to be a continuous spectrum of symptoms and mechanisms integrated in a single asthma syndrome.
Article
Geogenic, as well as anthropogenic heavy metals from distant sources, gradually increase the level of toxic metals in natural environments and these will be increasingly taken up by the plants and transferred further up the food chain. The level of different heavy metals (Hg, Cd, Pb) was studied in the producers (food plants) and consumers [four species of acridid grasshoppers: Calliptamus italicus (L.), Oedipoda caerulesens (L.), O. germanica (Latr.) and Chorthippus(Glyptobothrus) crassiceps(Ramme, 1926)] of a grassland located 1200 m above the sea level in the Taigetos Mountains, Peloponnesus, Greece. The concentrations of heavy metals in the food plants and grasshoppers were in the order Pb > Cd > Hg and the mean concentration of Pb was about 55 and 20 times the concentrations of Hg and Cd, respectively. The solely herbivorous C.(G.) crassiceps had a significantly higher Hg-concentration than in the food plants, but it did not exceed that of Cd and Pb. Cd-concentration in the grasshoppers was significantly higher than in food plants, and female grasshoppers had higher Cd accumulation than males. Lead accumulation in grasshoppers was always lower than in their food plants. The accumulation factors of these elements in the grasshoppers were found in the order Cd > Hg > Pb, thus showing greater affinity to Cd accumulation. Significantly higher concentration of Hg in both sexes of C.(G.) crassiceps than in other three grasshoppers proved this species to be a comparatively better bioindicator of Hg pollution. Elevated concentrations of Cd in both, females and males of all four grasshopper species suggested that any grasshopper, irrespective of the sex, could equally play the role of bioindicator. Studies on the bioaccumulation and biotransfer of different heavy metals showed that the organisms of such distantly located ecosystems were also exposed to measurable amounts of toxic heavy metals.
Article
Encephalitozoon species are the most common microsporidian pathogens of humans and domesticated animals. We recently discovered a new microsporidium, Encephalitozoon romaleae, infecting the eastern lubber grasshopper Romalea microptera. To understand its evolutionary relationships, we compared partial gene sequences of α- and β-tubulin and methionine aminopeptidase 2 enzyme from this and related species. We also analyzed the rRNA internal transcribed spacer. Based on tubulin and MetAP-2 gene phylogenetic analysis, E. romaleae clustered with the Encephalitzoon group with strong bootstrap support (>99%). Within the Encephalitozoon clade, E. romaleae clustered with Encephalitozoon hellem for both the β-tubulin and MetAP-2 phylogenies based on ML tree. The α-tubulin based ML tree, however, placed the new microsporidium closer to Encephalitozoon cuniculi. The rRNA internal transcribed spacer region of E. romaleae has 91% homology with E. hellem.
Article
This review highlights some of the research advances in anaphylaxis; hypersensitivity reactions to foods, drugs, and insects; and allergic skin diseases that were reported in the Journal in 2011. Food allergy appears to be increasing in prevalence and carries a strong economic burden. Risk factors can include dietary ones, such as deficiency of vitamin D and timing of complementary foods, and genetic factors, such as filaggrin loss-of-function mutations. Novel mechanisms underlying food allergy include the role of invariant natural killer T cells and influences of dietary components, such as isoflavones. Among numerous preclinical and clinical treatment studies, promising observations include the efficacy of sublingual and oral immunotherapy, a Chinese herbal remedy showing promising in vitro results, the potential immunotherapeutic effects of having children ingest foods with baked-in milk if they tolerate it, and the use of anti-IgE with or without concomitant immunotherapy. Studies of allergic skin diseases, anaphylaxis, and hypersensitivity to drugs and insect venom are elucidating cellular mechanisms, improved diagnostics, and potential targets for future treatment. The role of skin barrier abnormalities, as well as the modulatory effects of the innate and adaptive immune responses, are major areas of investigation.
Article
The histochemical characteristics of human basophils and tissue mast cells were described over a century ago by Paul Ehrlich. When mast cells are activated by an allergen that binds to serum IgE attached to their FcɛRI receptors, they release cytokines, eicosanoids and their secretory granules. Mast cells are now thought to exert critical proinflammatory functions, as well as potential immunoregulatory roles, in various immune disorders through the release of mediators such as histamine, leukotrienes, cytokines chemokines, and neutral proteases (chymase and tryptase). The aim of this review is to describe the role of mast cells in allergic inflammation. Mast cells interact directly with bacteria and appear to play a vital role in host defense against pathogens. Drugs, such as glucocorticoids, cyclosporine and cromolyn have been shown to have inhibitory effects on mast cell degranulation and mediator release. This review shows that mast cells play an active role in such diverse diseases as asthma, rhinitis, middle ear infection, and pulmonary fibrosis. In conclusion, mast cells may not only contribute to the chronic airway inflammatory response, remodeling and symptomatology, but they may also have a central role in the initiation of the allergic immune response, that is providing signals inducing IgE synthesis by B-lymphocytes and inducing Th2 lymphocyte differentiation.
Article
This study compared the reactivity of scalp, face, and back to nonimmunologic contact urticants (NICU) to ascertain relative responsiveness. Model urticants, benzoic acid (BA) and hexyl nicotinate (HN) with 3 concentrations of each were applied to marked skin of 10 bald males during 6 weeks. One urticant was applied to one side of nasolabial fold, back, and scalp and the other applied to the contralateral side. Reactivity was assessed by visual scores (VS) and biophysical instruments. Subjects ranked skin sensation with a 10-point visual analogue scale. With 0.25% HN application, upper back VS significantly (p<0.05) exceeded scalp and back VS also showed significantly (p<0.05) stronger reaction than face at 60 min post-application; however, at 2.5% BA site, VS of face exhibited significantly (p<0.05) higher than back at 15 min post-application but with 0.625% BA site, VS of back was significantly (p<0.05) higher than face. The a* value was significantly (p<0.05) higher on back than scalp with 0.625% BA treatment. Thus symptoms and measurements vary among sites. Differences may be related to solubility related percutaneous penetration. We encourage investigation into this relatively neglected but clinically important arena, to help explain difference in consumer/patient acceptance of topical formulations.