Abstract Title:

Inhalant allergy to egg yolk and egg white proteins.

Abstract Source:

Clin Exp Allergy. 1998 Apr ;28(4):478-85. PMID: 9641575

Abstract Author(s):

S Quirce, M L Díez-Gómez, P Eiras, M Cuevas, G Baz, E Losada

Article Affiliation:

Department of Allergy, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain.


BACKGROUND: Several egg white and egg yolk and avian proteins have been described as a cause of inhalant allergy. Sometimes inhalational type I hypersensitivity to these proteins is associated with food allergy to egg.

OBJECTIVE: We studied two patients who experienced respiratory and food allergic symptoms upon exposure to egg or avian antigens through the inhalative or digestive routes. Clinical and immunological studies were carried out in order to identify individual allergens from these sources that could be responsible for crossreactivity reactions.

RESULTS: Patient 1 showed IgE sensitization to egg yolk livetins, feathers, and chicken serum. Specific bronchial challenge with chicken albumin and livetin extracts elicited a positive early asthmatic response and an increase in serum eosinophil cationic protein. Immunoblot and CAP-inhibition studies in this patient supported that chicken albumin (alpha-livetin) was the crossreactive antigen present in egg yolk and chicken serum and feathers. Patient 2 showed sensitization to egg white, ovomucoid and lysozyme. However, SDS-PAGE and immunoblot studies demonstrated contaminating lysozyme in the ovomucoid extract and identified lysozyme as the main allergen causing egg sensitization in this patient. Conjunctival challenge test confirmed allergy to lysozyme.

CONCLUSION: Egg yolk and egg white proteins may act not only as ingested allergens but also as aeroallergens. Immunological studies using highly purified preparations of egg proteins are useful for the accurate diagnosis of allergic reactions to egg proteins and to identify individual allergens that may be responsible for crossreactivity reactions.

Study Type : Human: Case Report

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