Airborne allergy to sunflower seed

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2004;14(3):244-6.


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.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / immunology*
  • Asthma / etiology*
  • Asthma / physiopathology
  • Environmental Exposure*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Helianthus / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / diagnosis
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / etiology*
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Skin Tests


  • Allergens
  • Immunoglobulin E