Key Allergens

Privet bushes are in the Oleaceae family of plants, this family include olive, jasmine and ash trees. They are very popular in the UK, often used as privacy bushes in front and back gardens.

These plants are insect pollinated and the pollen is large in size, these are both factors which lends them to have low allergenicity and are less likely to cause allergic rhinitis.

Privet has two allergens recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), a profilin protein, which is a panallergen and what is known as an "Ole e 1-like protein". Ole e 1 is a glycoprotein found in the pollen of olive trees, it has high cross-reactivity with the main allergens of other plants in the Oleaceae family. Ole e 1 is the marker allergen for diagnosing these linked allergens.

Other allergens found in other studies are enolase proteins and a polygalacturonase.

The pollen season for privet trees is June to July.

Associated Syndromes

An allergy to privet pollen is sometimes associated with seasonal allergic rhinitis (hayfever).

A privet pollen allergy is also linked to asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and atopic dermatitis.

As privet pollen contains profilin proteins it can sometimes be linked to Celery Mugwort Spice Syndrome (CMS Syndrome), this is when the immune system overreacts to foods because it has already been sensitised to similary shaped pollen. The symptoms of CMS Syndrome are called oral allergy symptoms as they affect the lips, mouth and throat.

Cross Reactivity

Other plants containing profilin inhalant allergens are ragweed, wormwood, birch, sunflower, mugwort, 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.

Other Ole e 1 pollens include olive, pigweed, sugar beet, crocus, ash, grasses, plantain, mesquite and lilac.

Enolase proteins are found as an allergen in ragweed, plane trees, various grasses and wormwood. Enolase is a contact allergen in rubber tree plants and cockroach. Various species of fish contain beta enolase proteins. The WHO allergen database specifically mentions cod, carp, catfish, salmon and tuna, but they have been found in multiple species of fish. Enolases have also been found in chicken, snake meat, pencillin, yeast and various other moulds and fungi.

Polygalacturonase protein are pollen allergens found in cedar, plane, various grasses, olive and cypress trees. They are found as a food allergen in papaya.



Worcester Pollen Forecast

Allergy UK - Managing your asthma and your allergic rhinitis throughout the seasons

Allergen Encyclopedia - Privet

Science Direct - Privet - ligustrum

Articles and Journals

Immunochemical Characterization of Ligustrum Vulgare (Privet) Pollen Allergens: Study of Common Allergenic Plant in Iran, 2022

Ligustrum pollen: New insights into allergic disease, 2020

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

Analysis of hypersensitivity to oleaceae pollen in an olive-free and ash-free area by commercial pollen extracts and recombinant allergens, 2011

Privet pollen (Ligustrum sp.) as potential cause of pollinosis in the city of Cordoba, south-west Spain, 2008

Emerging pollen allergens, 2007

Isolation, cDNA cloning and expression of Lig v 1, the major allergen from privet pollen, 1996

Let me know if you found any of these interesting or useful. If you spot an article or research that you think is interesting you can message me or tag me on Facebook or Twitter - links at the bottom of the page.

Original Website Design by Jemma Dalton - © Allergy Resources. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy

Follow Us