Food allergies are specific. As a result, more precise tests may let allergy sufferers choose a wider range of foods in the future.
A study conducted by the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, the Univerity of Leipzig and the Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen specifically tested patients with a Nile perch allergy. While they found that being allergic to Nile perch does not mean an allergy to cod, they also identified other species-specific allergens which could help widen the range of foods a person can consume when using an avoidance strategy to control a food allergy.
Fish is an abundant, often inexpensive, and healthful dietary alternative. The international fish trade is everywhere and easily available to everyone. The trend toward increasing fish in the diet continues year after year. While for many people this is a good health choice, allergies are increasing for a few. The most common allergen in fish and crustaceans is parvalbumin – a calcium-building protein. There are other proteins which are suspicious such as aldehyde dehydrogenases, a group of proteins important to cell metabolism. It may be that one allergen is getting more attention than it should while the other is overlooked. If people are really reacting to the proteins for cell metabolism, then they could perhaps eat a broader range of fish.
Developing More Specific Tests
“The tests that are currently used are very non-specific. For some people who suffer from fish allergies there may be hope of finding a fish that they can tolerate if we managed to make the relevant tests suitable for mass implementation and use them in allergy diagnostics,” explained Dr. Janina Tomm from the UFZ.
Source: MedicalNewsToday, Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology