IgE cross-reactivity of peanut with walnut and soybean in children with food allergy

Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2016 Nov-Dec;44(6):524-530. doi: 10.1016/j.aller.2016.04.012. Epub 2016 Oct 7.


Background: Peanut allergies are common and can be life-threating for sensitised individuals. Peanut allergens share significant amino acid homology with those of other legumes and tree nuts, but their cross-reactivity still remains unclear.

Objective: We sought to determine the clinical significance of the cross-reactivity of peanut allergens with those of walnut and soybean.

Methods: Pooled sera from eight subjects with both peanut and walnut specific IgE were investigated in an inhibition test. After the sera were incubated with either peanut or walnut protein extracts, the quantity of IgE antibodies against the peanut and walnut was measured using an immunoCAP test. Likewise, pooled sera from 18 subjects with both peanut and soybean specific IgE antibodies were incubated with either peanut or soybean protein extracts and evaluated with a peanut and soybean immunoCAP test. SDS-PAGE and immunoblotting were also performed with peanut, walnut and soybean protein extracts and relevant sera.

Results: Peanut specific IgE was inhibited up to 20% and 26% by walnut and soybean protein extracts, respectively. In reverse, walnut and soybean specific IgE were inhibited up to 21% and 23% by peanut protein extracts, respectively. In the immunoblot analysis, pooled serum from the subjects with peanut specific IgE antibodies reacted with walnut protein extracts significantly.

Conclusion: Although the clinical significance of the cross-reactivity of peanut specific IgE with walnut and soybean protein extracts has not been established, we believe that individuals who are allergic to peanuts need to be cautious about consuming walnuts and soybeans.

Keywords: Cross-reactivity; Food allergy; IgE-hypersensitivity; Inhibition test; Legume; Peanut; Soybean; Tree nut; Walnut.

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Plant / immunology
  • Arachis / immunology
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross Reactions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Juglans / immunology
  • Male
  • Nut Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Soybeans / immunology


  • Antigens, Plant
  • Immunoglobulin E