Background: There is increasing evidence that bird fanciers may develop airborne allergies to unusual allergens.
Objective: To detect the allergen source in a bird fancier with a history of asthma associated with bird cage cleaning activities and with contact with a Brazil parrot.
Methods: SPT with a large series of both airborne and food allergens were carried out. IgE reactivity to allergens causing wheal and flare reactions was confirmed by in-vitro investigations including ELISA/ELISA inhibition and immunoblot analysis.
Results: Strong skin reactivity to sunflower seed was observed. Immunoblot analysis showed IgE reactivity to low m.w. proteins, most probably 2S albumin, and ELISA inhibition studies showed the absence of cross-reactivity to mustard.
Conclusion: Sunflower seed dust may sensitize patients via the respiratory tract. Differently from previously reported cases of sunflower seed allergy, no cross-reactivity to 2S albumin from botanically unrelated seeds was found.