Sweat allergy

Allergol Int. 2018 Oct;67(4):435-441. doi: 10.1016/j.alit.2018.07.002. Epub 2018 Jul 31.


Sweat allergy is defined as a type I hypersensitivity against the contents of sweat, and is specifically observed in patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) and cholinergic urticaria (CholU). The allergic reaction is clinically revealed by positive reactions in the intradermal skin test and the basophil histamine release assay by sweat. A major histamine-releasing antigen in sweat, MGL_1304, has been identified. MGL_1304 is produced at a size of 29 kDa by Malassezia (M.) globosa and secreted into sweat after being processed and converted into the mature form of 17 kDa. It induces significant histamine release from basophils of patients with AD and/or CholU with MGL_1304-specific IgE, which is detected in their sera. Patients with AD also show cross-reactivity to MGL_1304-homologs in Malassezia restricta and Malassezia sympodialis, but MGL_1304 does not share cross antigenicity with human intrinsic proteins. Malassezia or its components may penetrate the damaged epidermis of AD lesions and interact with the skin immune system, resulting in the sensitization and reaction to the fungal antigen. As well as the improvement of impaired barrier functions by topical interventions, approaches such as anti-microbial treatment, the induction of tolerance and antibody/substance neutralizing the sweat antigen may be beneficial for the patients with intractable AD or CholU due to sweat allergy. The identification of antigens other than MGL_1304 in sweat should be the scope for future studies, which may lead to better understanding of sweat allergy and therapeutic innovations.

Keywords: Atopic dermatitis; Cholinergic urticaria; MGL_1304; Malassezia; Sweat.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Fungal / immunology*
  • Histamine Release / immunology
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Malassezia / immunology*
  • Sweat / immunology*


  • Antigens, Fungal