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Severe Tomato Allergy (Lycopersicon esculentum)

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Although tomatoes are a commonly consumed food, severe allergic reactions to tomatoes are unusual or rarely reported. Previously reported allergic manifestations to tomato include urticaria/angioedema, dermatitis, oral allergy syndrome, rhinitis, and abdominal pain. The aim of this study was to report two patients with significant immediate hypersensitivity reactions to tomato and characterize the responsible allergen. We reviewed the history and documentation of tomato-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) of two patients with adverse symptoms after ingesting tomato. Fresh tomato extracts prepared from the skin, seeds, and flesh of red, ripe tomatoes were evaluated for total protein content and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) was performed to characterize the tomato protein. IgE enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using the patients' serum against the various tomato extracts was accomplished and IgE immunoblot was performed. Percutaneous skin tests or radioallergosorbent tests (RASTs) were positive to tomato in both patients. Both adults experienced laryngeal edema and one had anaphylaxis. Similar total protein contents were found in each of the tomato extracts and gel electrophoresis revealed similar protein profile for skin and seed extracts with protein bands discernible at molecular weights of 21, 33, and 43 kDa. One patient reacted specifically to a 43-kDa protein band on IgE immunoblot. The two cases show that severe allergic reactions to tomato occur in adults and one is associated with IgE binding to a 43-kDa protein.
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Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: March 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • 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 and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    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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