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Food allergy with monovalent sensitivity to poultry meat


Professor Wüthrich Allergy Unit, Department of Dermatology University Hospital, Gloriastr. 31, CH-8091 Zürich, Switzerland.



Allergy to poultry meat is only rarely covered in science. The few reports are usually related to patients allergic to eggs or bird feathers.


Two patients with a clear history of monovalent, ingestive allergy to chicken and turkey meat, without other food allergies, were analysed. The relevant allergens were to be identified by immunoblotting.


Both patients were evaluated with skin tests and specific IgE determination (CAP). Allergens were identified by SDS-PAGE and immunoblotting. Crossreactivity of chicken and turkey meat was examined by IgE inhibition experiments.


Skin tests and specific IgE were positive for chicken and turkey in both patients. Crossreactivities to other poultry meats were documented for duck and goose meat. No sensitization to egg components or poultry feathers could be found. Allergenic proteins of poultry meat were detected at molecular weights of 21, 23 and 50 kDa (distinct bands) and 13, 27 and 33 kDa (faint bands). An additional band at 91 kDa for turkey, can probably not be considered a distinct allergenic epitope. Immunoblot inhibition confirmed cross-reactivity of chicken and turkey meat allergens.


Food allergy to poultry meat is a distinct disorder with crossreactivity among chicken, turkey and other poultries. The relevant allergens were identified by immunoblotting. Associated food allergy to egg-components is unlikely as the patients were able to tolerate egg and eggs products.