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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-58963

Geroldinger-Simic, M; Zelniker, T; Aberer, W; Ebner, C H; Eggers, C; Greiderer, A; Prem, N; Lidholm, J; Ballmer-Weber, B K; Vieths, S; Bohle, B (2011). Birch pollen–related food allergy: Clinical aspects and the role of allergen-specific IgE and IgG4 antibodies. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 127(3):616 -622.e1.

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Patients with birch pollen allergy often develop allergic reactions to plant foods.

To evaluate the prevalence, main symptoms, and triggers of birch pollen-related food allergy and the role of food-specific IgG(4) antibodies in food tolerance.

Food-induced symptoms were evaluated in 225 individuals with birch pollen allergy by using a standardized questionnaire. IgE and IgG(4) levels specific for the major birch pollen allergen Bet v 1 and birch profilin Bet v 2 and the Bet v 1 homologs in apple (Mal d 1) and hazelnut (Cor a 1) were quantified by ImmunoCAP. Mock-treated and IgG-depleted sera from patients tolerating hazelnuts in food challenges were compared for their inhibitory activity for binding of Cor a 1-IgE complexes to B cells.

In total, 73% of the study population experienced food allergy, which was perennial in 86% of the affected individuals. The oral allergy syndrome was the main clinical manifestation. However, more than 58% of the patients also experienced food-induced rhinoconjunctivitis. Apples and hazelnuts were identified as the most frequent triggers. Food allergy correlated with IgE reactivity to Bet v 1 but not to Bet v 2. Mal d 1-specific and Cor a 1-specific IgG(4)/IgE ratios were significantly higher in food-tolerant individuals than individuals with food allergy. Sera from IgG(4)-positive food-tolerant patients possessed IgG-dependent IgE-inhibitory activity.

Birch pollen-related food allergy is highly prevalent and often perennial. High food allergen-specific IgG(4)/IgE ratios seem associated with food tolerance, potentially because specific IgG(4) blocks IgE binding to food allergens. Thus, the presence of food allergen-specific IgG(4) antibodies is no diagnostic marker for birch pollen-related food allergy.

Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.


54 citations in Web of Science®
73 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Dermatology Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Deposited On:26 Feb 2012 19:04
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:36
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.jaci.2010.10.027
PubMed ID:21251701

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