Background: food allergy is highly prevalent in our environment, especially among atopic patients. Pinus pinea is common in our region and its fruit, the pine nut, is allergologically important. Several cases have been reported in the literature that demonstrate the existence of common antigenic bands between pine nut and almond. In this study we try to assess this finding and the possible existence of common allergens by in vitro techniques.
Methods and results: we present a 10-year-old boy, previously diagnosed of seasonal rhinoconjunctivitis with sensitisation to grass and olive pollen, who had an anaphylactic reaction after eating pine nut. We performed in vivo (prick test, prick-by-prick) and in vitro tests (total and specific IgE determinations [CAP-FEIA]), histamine release test, and immunoblotting (SDS-PAGE). We also reviewed the literature through the MEDLINE database in PubMed.
Conclusions: because pine nut is commonly consumed in our environment, the prevalence of allergic reactions is probably considerable and these reactions take place at an early age. We demonstrate the existence of common antigenic proteins between pine nut and peanuts.