Medline ® Abstract for Reference 32
of 'Infusion-related reactions to therapeutic monoclonal antibodies used for cancer therapy'
The relevance of tick bites to the production of IgE antibodies to the mammalian oligosaccharide galactose-α-1,3-galactose.
Commins SP, James HR, Kelly LA, Pochan SL, Workman LJ, Perzanowski MS, Kocan KM, Fahy JV, Nganga LW, Ronmark E, Cooper PJ, Platts-Mills TA
J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011;127(5):1286. Epub 2011 Mar 31.
BACKGROUND: In 2009, we reported a novel form of delayed anaphylaxis to red meat that is related to serum IgE antibodies to the oligosaccharide galactose-α-1,3-galactose (alpha-gal). Most of these patients had tolerated meat for many years previously. The implication is that some exposure in adult life had stimulated the production of these IgE antibodies.
OBJECTIVES: We sought to investigate possible causes of this IgE antibody response, focusing on evidence related to tick bites, which are common in the region where these reactions occur.
METHODS: Serum assays were carried out with biotinylated proteins and extracts bound to a streptavidin ImmunoCAP.
RESULTS: Prospective studies on IgE antibodies in 3 subjects after tick bites showed an increase in levels of IgE to alpha-gal of 20-fold or greater. Other evidence included (1) a strong correlation between histories of tick bites and levels of IgE to alpha-gal (χ(2) = 26.8, P <.001), (2) evidence that these IgE antibodies are common in areas where the tick Amblyomma americanum is common, and (3) a significant correlation between IgE antibodies to alpha-gal and IgE antibodies to proteins derived from A americanum (r(s) = 0.75, P <.001).
CONCLUSION: The results presented here provide evidence that tick bites are a cause, possibly the only cause, of IgE specific for alpha-gal in this area of the United States. Both the number of subjects becoming sensitized and the titer of IgE antibodies to alpha-gal are striking. Here we report the first example of a response to an ectoparasite giving rise to an important form of food allergy.
Asthma and Allergic Diseases Center, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA, USA.