Determinants of food allergy

Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2012 Feb;32(1):11-33. doi: 10.1016/j.iac.2011.12.003.


Food allergy is an emerging epidemic in the United States and the Western world. The determination of factors that make certain foods allergenic is still not clearly understood. Only a tiny fraction of thousands of proteins and other molecules is responsible for inducing food allergy. In this review, the authors present 3 examples of food allergies with disparate clinical presentations: peanut, soy, and mammalian meat. The potential relationships between allergen structure and function, emphasizing the importance of cross-reactive determinants, immunoglobulin E antibodies to the oligosaccharides, and the immune responses induced in humans are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / ultrastructure
  • Food Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Immunization*
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Meat / adverse effects
  • Peanut Hypersensitivity
  • Plants / adverse effects
  • Plants / immunology
  • Soy Foods / adverse effects


  • Allergens
  • Immunoglobulin E