The WHO Allergen Database has entries for 2 types of melons, watermelons and muskmelons.
Muskmelons have been cultivated into subtypes and include most other melons including honeydew and cantaloupe melons.
The watermelon has only 1 defined food allergen, called Citr l 1, this is a profilin protein. Reactions to watermelon are most commonly oral allergy type symptoms.
The muskmelon group of fruits contain 3 food allergens, called Cuc m 1, m 2 and m3.
Cuc m 2 is a profilin, similar to that of Citr l 1 in watermelon. Cuc m 1 is a plant enzyme called cucumisin.
Cuc m 3 is a common plant protein called PR-1, which protects the plant from attack.
You may have Pollen-Food Allergy Syndrome
if you suffer from melon allergy with oral allergy symptoms to 3 or more of the foods mentioned in cross reactivity section.
If sensitised to ragweed pollen you may also have problems with banana, melon, courgette, cucumber, and squash.
If sensitised to grass pollen you may also react to melon, potato, oranges and peanuts.
Profilins are 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. Other plants containing profilin inhalant allergens are ragweed, wormwood, birch, sunflower, olive, plantain, poplar and oak.
Allergen Encyclopedia - Watermelon
Allergen Encyclopedia - Melon
DermNet NZ - Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome
Allergy information for: Melon (Cucumis melo (Muskmelon))
Science Direct - Profilins
ACAAI - Food Allergy to Melons?
Do You Have a Cantaloupe Allergy?
Anaphylaxis Campaign - Fruit Allergies
Articles and Journals
Pollen-food allergy syndrome in children, 2020
Watermelon profilin: characterization of a major allergen as a model for plant-derived food profilins, 2010
Sequence homology: a poor predictive value for profilins cross-reactivity, 2005
Novel plant pathogenesis-related protein family involved in food allergy, 2004
Identification of Cucumisin (Cuc m 1), a subtilisin-like endopeptidase, as the major allergen of melon fruit, 2003
Clinical characteristics of melon (Cucumis melo) allergy, 2003
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