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Allergen Cross-Reactivity Between Proteins of the Latex from Hevea brasiliensis, Seeds and Pollen of Ricinus communis, and Pollen of Mercurialis annua, Members of the Euphorbiaceae Family

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Allergen cross-reactions among three strongly sensitizing Euphorbiaceae species, i.e., the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis), castor bean (Ricinus communis), and the Mediterranean weed Mercurialis annua were studied in Finnish patients (n = 25) allergic to natural rubber latex (NRL), but with no known exposure to castor bean or M. annua, and French patients allergic to castor bean (n = 26) or to M. annua (n = 9), but not to NRL. In immunoglobulin E (IgE)-immunoblotting, 28% of NRL-allergic patient sera recognized castor bean seed and 48% reacted to castor bean pollen proteins. Likewise, 35% of the NRL-allergic patient sera bound to M. annua pollen allergens. Nineteen percent of castor bean-allergic patients showed IgE to NRL and 8% to M. annua proteins. Sera from patients allergic to M. annua reacted in 44% to NRL, in 56% to castor bean seed, and in 78% to castor bean pollen proteins. In immunoblotting, castor bean seed extract inhibited the binding of NRL-reactive IgE to 20 kDa, 30 kDa of NRL, and 55 kDa of proteins; NRL extract, in turn, inhibited the binding of castor bean-reactive IgE to 14, 21-22, 29, and 32-34 kDa of castor bean proteins. In ELISA inhibition, NRL extract inhibited 33% of the binding of M. annua--reactive IgE of pooled sera to M. annua pollen. In conclusion, allergen cross-reactivity in vitro was observed among three botanically related Euphorbiaceae members, H. brasiliensis, R. communis, and M. annua, but the molecular specificity of the observed cross-reactions as well as their clinical significance remains to be elucidated. Allergen cross-reactivity should be taken into account in diagnostic work.
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Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: 2002-03-01

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  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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