IgE cross-reactivity between birch pollen, mugwort pollen and celery is due to at least three distinct cross-reacting allergens: immunoblot investigation of the birch-mugwort-celery syndrome


Dr Dietrich Kraft, Institute of General and Experimental Pathology. AKH, Währinger Gürtel 18–20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.


Background Allergy to celery is often associated with sensitization to birch and/or mugwort pollen.

Objective and methods In a multi-centre study, sera from 23 patients suffering from type I allergy to celery and 15 patients with positive celery RAST but wo clinical sensitization were compared. To examine whether cross-reactivity between celery and mugwort pollen iticludes cross-sensitization to birch pollen allergens, we determined cross-reacting structures in birch pollen, mugwort pollen and celery by means of immunoblotting. Inhibition studies were performed by preincubation of sera with extracts of birch pollen, mugwort pollen, and celery.

Results We identified three groups of proteins—homologues of Bet v I and birch profilin (Bet v 2) as well asa group of proteins with a molecular range of 46 to 60 kD—displaying IgE-cross-reactivity, which were shared by birch pollen and celery. Two of these groups of allergens (profilin and the 46 to 60 kD proteins) were also present in mugwort pollen. In this paper we demonstrate that most cross-reacting allergens present in mugwort pollen and celery can also be detected in birch pollen extract.

Conclusion Therefore we propose, from a serological point of view, to extend the mugwort-celery syndrome to the birch-mugwort-celery syndrome.