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Improved diagnostic clarity in shrimp allergic non‐dust-mite sensitized patients

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Allergen specific immunoglobulin E (sIgE) levels predictive of shrimp allergy have not been identified, but these may be helpful in identifying patients at risk for shrimp-induced allergic reactions.


This study sought to identify component resolved diagnostic tests useful for diagnosis of shrimp allergy in patients with or without house-dust mite (HDM) sensitization to the major allergen cysteine protease (Der p 1).


Patients with positive skin-prick test (SPT) results and/or sIgE values were recruited. Shrimp allergy was classified by oral food challenge (OFC) or by a clear history of anaphylaxis after shrimp ingestion. Patients with shrimp allergy and patients who were tolerant were further classified based on HDM sensitivity (Der p 1 > 0.35 kUA/L). Testing for sIgE to total shrimp, and shrimp and HDM components was performed. The Fisher exact test, Wilcoxon sum rank test, and receiver operating characteristics analyses were used to compare sIgE levels in patients with allergy and patients who were tolerant.


Of 79 patients recruited, 12 patients with shrimp allergy (7 with positive OFC results and 5 with a history of anaphylaxis) and 18 patients who were shrimp tolerant were enrolled. Of the patients not HDM sensitized, sIgE levels to shrimp (10.5 kUA/L, p = 0.012) and Der p 10 (4.09 kUA/L, p = 0.035) were higher in patients with shrimp allergy. Shrimp sIgE of ≥3.55 kUA/L had 100% diagnostic sensitivity and 85.7% specificity (receiver operating characteristic 0.94 [0.81, 1.0] 95% CI) and Der p 10 sIgE levels of ≥3.98 kUA/L had a diagnostic sensitivity of 80% and specificity of 100% (receiver operating characteristic 0.86 [0.57, 1.0] 95% CI) for prediction of clinical reactivity.


HDM sensitization influences shrimp and HDM component sIgE levels and, consequently, their diagnostic accuracy in shrimp allergy. In our series, in the patients who were non-HDM sensitized, a shrimp sIgE level of >3.55 kUA/L showed 100% sensitivity and, Der p 10 sIgE of >3.98 kUA/L showed 100% specificity for the diagnosis of shrimp allergy. These levels may not be applicable to every patient and, therefore, may not obviate the need for OFC.
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Keywords: Shrimp allergy; dust mite cross-reactivity; shrimp IgE; shrimp component testing

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: From the Section of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics, Texas Children's Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 2: Dan L. Duncan Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas

Publication date: September 1, 2018

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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