A 42-year-old woman reported immediate rhinoconjunctivitis, asthma, and contact urticaria while handling bird food. Skin-prick tests were positive to Lolium, Cynodon, Phragmites, Cupressus sempervirens, Cupressus arizonica, Chenopodium, sunflower pollen and seed, mugwort, chamomile, Chrysanthemum, Taraxacum, canary seed, and black seed (Guizotia abyssinica). The patient's serum-specific immunoglobulin (IgE) to Taraxacum, black seed, and canary seed was positive. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay inhibition studies revealed a 97 and 27% IgE-binding inhibition of whole canary food IgE by black seed and Taraxacum pollen, respectively. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis immunoblotting showed two IgE-binding protein bands of 11 and 44 kDa in the G. abyssinica extract. These two bands were totally inhibited by sunflower seed, mugwort, and Taraxacum extracts. Specific bronchial challenge with black seed extract was positive. The patient was able to feed her canary with birdseeds after she removed black seeds. We report a case of asthma caused by black seed (G. abyssinica) used as canary food in a patient previously allergic to pollen (olea europaea, grass, and mugwort) and sunflower seeds.
Document Type: Original Article
Publication date: July 1, 2003
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