Many concerns have been raised about the potential allergenicity of novel, recombinant proteins into food crops. Guidelines, proposed by WHO/FAO and EFSA, include the use of bioinformatics screening to assess the risk of potential allergenicity or cross-reactivities of all proteins introduced, for example, to improve nutritional value or promote crop resistance. However, there are no universally accepted standards that can be used to encode data on the biology of allergens to facilitate using data from multiple databases in this screening. Therefore, we developed AllerML a markup language for allergens to assist in the automated exchange of information between databases and in the integration of the bioinformatics tools that are used to investigate allergenicity and cross-reactivity. As proof of concept, AllerML was implemented using the Structural Database of Allergenic Proteins (SDAP; http://fermi.utmb.edu/SDAP/) database. General implementation of AllerML will promote automatic flow of validated data that will aid in allergy research and regulatory analysis.
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