Background: Hazelnut allergy is birch pollen-driven in Northern/Western Europe and lipid transfer protein-driven in Spain and Italy. Little is known about other regions and other allergens.
Objective: Establishing a molecular map of hazelnut allergy across Europe.
Methods: In 12 European cities, subjects reporting reactions to hazelnut (n = 731) were evaluated and sensitization to 24 foods, 12 respiratory allergen sources, and latex was tested by using skin prick test and ImmunoCAP. A subset (124 of 731) underwent a double-blind placebo-controlled food challenge to hazelnut. Sera of 423 of 731 subjects were analyzed for IgE against 7 hazelnut allergens and cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants by ImmunoCAP.
Results: Hazelnut allergy was confirmed in 70% of those undergoing double-blind placebo-controlled food challenges. Birch pollen-driven hazelnut sensitization (Cor a 1) dominated in most cities, except in Reykjavik, Sofia, Athens, and Madrid, where reporting of hazelnut allergy was less frequent anyhow. In Athens, IgE against Cor a 8 dominated and strongly correlated with IgE against walnut, peach, and apple and against Chenopodium, plane tree, and mugwort pollen. Sensitization to seed storage proteins was observed in less than 10%, mainly in children, and correlated with IgE to nuts, seeds, and legumes. IgE to Cor a 12, observed in all cities (10% to 25%), correlated with IgE to nuts, seeds, and pollen.
Conclusions: In adulthood, the importance of hazelnut sensitization to storage proteins, oleosin (Cor a 12), and Cor a 8 is diluted by the increased role of birch pollen cross-reactivity with Cor a 1. Cor a 8 sensitization in the Mediterranean is probably driven by diet in combination with pollen exposure. Hazelnut oleosin sensitization is prevalent across Europe; however, the clinical relevance remains to be established.
Keywords: EuroPrevall; component-resolved diagnosis; hazelnut allergy; outpatient clinic.
Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.