Inhalative occupational and ingestive immediate-type allergy caused by chicory (Cichorium intybus)


P. Cadot, Laboratory of clinical Immunology, University Hospital, Kapucijnenvoer 33, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium.


We report a first case of occupational allergy to chicory (Cichorium intybus) in a vegetable wholesaler. Symptoms occurred after oral, cutaneous or inhalatory exposure. The patient also reported reactions after ingestion of botanically related endive (Cichorium endivia) and lettuce (Lactuca sativa.) We identified the responsible allergen by SDS-PAGE and immunoblot to be a 48-kDa protein, confined to the non-illuminated parts of the plants. No cross-reactivity was found with mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) ryegrass (Lolium perenne) and birch (Betula verrucosa) pollen, which suggests that the vegetable is the primary allergenic material.