ALLERGY RESOURCES

COMPREHENSIVE ALLERGY RESOURCES FOR EVERYONE - THE TOP 14 ALLERGENS AND BEYOND

COMPREHENSIVE ALLERGY RESOURCES FOR EVERYONE - THE TOP 14 ALLERGENS AND BEYOND

CRUSTACEAN ALLERGY


Key Allergens

Crustaceans are a group of invertebrates which include lobster, prawn, scampi, crab and shrimp. Note in Europe that crustaceans and molluscs are considered to be 2 separate food groups whose allergens need to be declared in packaged food. In the US these are both grouped under the term 'shellfish'.

The WHO allergen index covers 21 species of crustaceans linked to allergic reactions and 7 main groups of allergens.

15 species of invertebrates have been found to contain the allergen Tropomyosin, which is a protein found in exoskeletons.

Arginine Kinase allergens have been found in 6 species, mostly in shrimp.

Myosin allergens have been found in 6 species, mostly shrimp and crab. Myosin is a protein found in animals involved in movement and muscle contraction.

Sarcoplasmic calcium binding protein allergens have been found in 5 species of shrimp and crab. These are proteins found in the muscle of crustaceans.

These identified allergens are related to food allergy - there are an additional 146 allergens identified in this group which link to airborne and airway allergens, which means just cooking crustaceans can be a problem for sufferers of this allergy.

Associated Syndromes

Crustacean Allergy is not currently linked with any allergic syndromes.

Cross Reactivity

Crustacean allergy is linked to shellfish allergy; oysters, abalone, squid and snail all contain the main allergen - tropomyosin.

Catfish, some types of salmon and tilapia are types of fish which have also been identified as containing the allergen tropomyosin, there may be cross reactivity between eating certain types of fish and crustaceans.

There is a link between insect allergies and crustacean allergy, this is again attributed to the common allergen - tropomyosin. This is tropomyosin as an airborne allergen in dust mites, termites, cockroaches and silverfish.

Resources

Websites

Allergen Encyclopedia - Crab

Allergen Encyclopedia - Shrimp

Science Direct - Tropomyosin

ACAAI - Shellfish Allergy

Food Allergy Canada - Crustaceans and Molluscs

Anaphylaxis Campaign - Shellfish


Articles and Journals

Prevalence and Characteristics of Shellfish Allergy in the Pediatric Population of the United States, 2020

Cross-allergenicity of crustacean and the edible insect Gryllus bimaculatus in patients with shrimp allergy, 2019

Crustacean Allergy in South Africa, 2017

Shellfish allergens: tropomyosin and beyond, 2016

In vivo diagnosis with purified tropomyosin in mite and shellfish allergic patients, 2016

Insects and Their Connection to Food Allergy, 2016

Shrimp allergy beyond Tropomyosin in Italy: clinical relevance of Arginine Kinase, Sarcoplasmic calcium binding protein and Hemocyanin, 2014

Snow crab allergy and asthma among Greenlandic workers – a pilot study, 2012

Selective Allergy to Lobster in a Case of Primary Sensitization to House Dust Mites, 2009

Tropomyosin: An Invertebrate Pan–Allergen, 1999



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