The terms maize and corn are often used interchangeably- maize is the name of the plant that grows corn, which is the product we eat.
There are 5 key allergens associated with maize, 3 of them are classified as airway allergens and 2 food allergens.
Zea m 8 is a chitinase protein. This is a plant derived enzyme made by plants naturally to act as a defence against fungal attacks.
Zea m 14 is a lipid transfer protein (LTP). This is considered to be a panallergen, causing allergic reactions over lots of different groups of foods.
Zea m 1 is a beta expansin protein. Expansins are proteins involved in cell wall expansion and modification.
Zea m 12 is a profilin
protein. This is another panallergen, found in both foods and pollens.
Zea m 25 is a thioredoxin protein which is in part responsible for cell growth.
Corn/maize allergy has been seen in conjunction with allergies to other foods presenting as Latex Food Syndrome
. This is due to the chitinase allergen. 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.
Those with a sensitivity to chitinase may have linked allergies to foods which contain high levels of chitinase like chestnuts, banana, avocados, papaya, pomegranate, kiwi 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.
Many different species of grasses contain the beta-expansin allergen, including rye, rice and maize.
Other plants containing profilin inhalant allergens are ragweed, wormwood, birch, sunflower, olive, plantain, poplar and oak. Profilins are also found as food allergens in kiwi, celery, peanut, chilli, watermelon, orange, hazelnut, melon, carrot, strawberry, soya, walnut, lychee, lupin, apple, cherry, almond, peach, pear, mustard, tomato and aubergine.
Thioredoxin is also common in moulds and wheat.
Science Direct - Expansins
Science Direct - Thioredoxin
Anaphylaxis Campaign - LTP Syndrome
Allergy information for: Maize, corn (Zea mays)
ACAAI - Corn Allergy
Corn Allergy: What Are the Symptoms?
NY Allergy & Sinus Clinic - Corn Allergy
Articles and Journals
Recent Surveys on Food Allergy Prevalence, 2020
Characterization of maize chitinase-A, a tough allergenic molecule, 2017
Cross-reactivity syndromes in food allergy, 2013
Maize food allergy: lipid-transfer proteins, endochitinases, and alpha-zein precursor are relevant maize allergens in double-blind placebo-controlled maize-challenge-positive patients, 2009
Maize food allergy: a double-blind placebo-controlled study, 2008
Detection of Some Safe Plant-Derived Foods for LTP-Allergic Patients, 2007
The expansin superfamily, 2005
The maize major allergen, which is responsible for food-induced allergic reactions, is a lipid transfer protein, 2000
Class I chitinases as potential panallergens involved in the latex-fruit syndrome, 1999
Latex allergy: clinical features and cross-reactivity with fruits, 1994
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