SUNFLOWER POLLEN ALLERGY
Sunflowers are plants in the Asteraceae
family of plants. Other plants in this family include daisies, camomile and asters.
There are 4 allergens associated with sunflowers. One, a lipid transfer protein is associated with eating sunflower seeds, you can read more about that on the Sunflower Seed
The other defined allergens are all linked to airway allergies for sunflower pollen and include a profilin proteins
and a pectate lyase.
Profilin proteins are considered panallergens as those sensitised to them can get allergic reactions to multiple foods or pollens containing them.
Sunflowers are insect and wind pollinated, so can cause rhinitis symptoms. Sunflower pollen occurs in the UK between May and July, peaking in June.
An allergy to sunflower pollen is strongly associated with seasonal allergic rhinitis (hayfever).
A sunflower pollen allergy is also linked to asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and atopic dermatitis.
Contact with sunflowers can also cause contact allergic dermatitis due to the sesquiterpene lactones in the plant.
If you are affected by the pollen of sunflowers then you may also react to the pollen of these plants which also contain airborne profilin proteins. These are pigweed, ragweed, wormwood, birch tree, hemp, crocus, olive rice, grass, plantain, poplar, mesquite, oak tree and maize (corn).
Airborne pollen which also contains pectate lyase includes cypress, ragweed, wormwood and cedar trees.
Allergy UK - Allergic rhinitis
DermNet NZ - Sunflowers
Worcester Pollen Forecast
DermNet NZ - compositae allergy
Allergy UK - Managing your asthma and your allergic rhinitis throughout the seasons
Allergen Encyclopedia - Sunflower
Science Direct - Sunflower
Articles and Journals
A paediatric case of exercise-augmented anaphylaxis following bee pollen ingestion in Western Australia, 2022
Comprehensive Study on Key Pollen Allergens, 2022
Purification and biochemical characterization of Hel a 6, a cross-reactive pectate lyase allergen from Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) pollen, 2020
Sunflower Pollen Allergy: A Brief Review, 2016
Search for Allergens from the Pollen Proteome of Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.): A Major Sensitizer for Respiratory Allergy Patients, 2015
Cloning and immunological characterization of the allergen Hel a 2 (profilin) from sunflower pollen, 1998
Analysis of cross-reactivity between sunflower pollen and other pollens of the Compositae family, 1993
Occupational allergy to sunflower pollen , 1985
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