Key Allergens

Chestnuts (not to be confused with horse chestnuts or water chestnuts, which are not related) have 4 allergenic proteins, Cas s 1, Cas s 5, Cas s 8 and Cas s 9.

Cas s 1 is a Bet v 1 allergen, so is associated with Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome.

Cas s 5 is a chitinase, this is a plant derived enzyme made by the plant to act as a defence against fungal attacks. Chitinase is a protein which can cause allergic reactions to those who have a latex allergy.

Cas s 8 is a Lipid Transfer Protein (LTP). These are panallergens found in many plants.

Cas s 9 is a small heat shock protein, unique to chestnuts.

Note that chestnuts are not related to other tree nuts or peanuts, so are not technically classified as nuts at all. There are no seed storage proteins present in chestnuts (or none that have yet been identified), which is typical of tree nuts.

Associated Syndromes

You may have Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome if you suffer from chestnut allergy with oral allergy symptoms to 3 or more of the foods mentioned in cross reactivity section.

Chestnut allergy is most commonly seen in conjunction with allergies to other foods presenting as Latex Food Syndrome. This is due to the high level of chitinase. Latex Food Syndrome is caused by the body confusing the proteins it encounters in food to that of latex proteins to which it is already sensitised.

LTP's are a group of proteins which can cause more serious allergic reactions in patients, you may suffer from LTP Syndrome if you suffer IgE type allergy symptoms to foods mentioned in the cross reactivity section below.

Cross Reactivity

If sensitised to birch tree pollen you may have Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome and may also react to apple, pear, peach, plum, nectarine, apricots, cherries, chestnut, kiwi, tomato, celery, carrot, potato, parsnip, pepper, dill, cumin, peas, coriander, fennel, hazelnut, walnut, almonds, peanuts, lentils and beans.

Foods linked to Latex Food Syndrome may have linked allergies to foods which contain high levels of chitinase, like avocado, banana, corn (maize), kiwi, papaya, pomegranate and tomatoes.

Common foods involved in LTP allergy include kiwi, strawberries, sunflower seeds, walnut, apple, mulberry, banana, pea, apricot, cherry, plum, almond, peach pomegranate, raspberry, tomato, grape, celery, peanut, asparagus, cabbage, broccoli, chestnut, lemon, tangerine, orange, hazelnut, lettuce, lentils, lupin, green bean, pear, mustard, wheat and maize.



Allergen Encyclopedia - Chestnut

Science Direct - Lipid Transfer Proteins

Science Direct - Latex Allergy

Anaphylaxis Campaign - Sweet Chestnuts

Anaphylaxis Campaign - LTP Syndrome

Allergy information for: Chestnut (Castanea sativa)

Articles and Journals

Birch pollen allergy in Europe, 2018

Tree pollen allergens—an update from a molecular perspective, 2015

Differential allergen sensitization patterns in chestnut allergy with or without associated latex-fruit syndrome, 2006

Chestnut as a Food Allergen: Identification of Major Allergens, 2005

Chestnut allergy - Beyond the latex-fruit syndrome, 2004

Lipid-transfer proteins as potential plant panallergens: cross-reactivity among proteins of Artemisia pollen, Castanea nut and Rosaceae fruits, with different IgE-binding capacities, 2000

Class I chitinases as potential panallergens involved in the latex-fruit syndrome, 1999

Latex allergy: clinical features and cross-reactivity with fruits, 1994

Purification, characterization and N-terminal amino acid sequence of a new major allergen from European chestnut pollen--Cas s 1, 1993

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