Delayed allergic reaction to meat

There has been medical reports of delayed reaction to red meat in which a person, after having had steak or meats (sausages,meatballs) will develop symptoms of anaphylaxis (hives, shortness of breath, swelling, low blood pressure). What is unusual is that the symptoms occur 3-6 hours after eating the meat. Usually food anaphylaxis occurs within minutes to an hour after eating the culprit food.

 

 

Turns out that these patients were actually sensitized to a component of mamalian meat after being bitten by ticks! After being bitten by the culprit tick, the person develops an IgE (allergic antibody) to a component found in mamalian meat named alpha-gal (Galactose-α-1,3-galactose). In the United States of America, the tick responsible for this disease is the lone star tick. This same tick is also responsible for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

Amblyomma_americanum_tick

 

Patients who have IgE antibodies to alpha-gal with delayed allergic reaction to meats should avoid beef, pork or lamb. However, poultry such as chicken or turkey does not seem to be a problem. It is important to keep this condition in mind when considering unusual presentations of allergic reactions. A qualified Allergy & Immunology specialist can help evaluate for food allergies

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