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Sensitization to cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants in relation to alcohol consumption

Authors

  • A. Gonzalez-Quintela,

    1. Departments of *Internal Medicine, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Biochemistry, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Clinical Epidemiology, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, §Research Centre for Prevention and Health, Glostrup University Hospital, Glostrup, DenmarkAllergy, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
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  • M. Garrido,

    1. Departments of *Internal Medicine, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Biochemistry, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Clinical Epidemiology, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, §Research Centre for Prevention and Health, Glostrup University Hospital, Glostrup, DenmarkAllergy, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
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  • F. Gude,

    1. Departments of *Internal Medicine, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Biochemistry, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Clinical Epidemiology, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, §Research Centre for Prevention and Health, Glostrup University Hospital, Glostrup, DenmarkAllergy, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
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  • J. Campos,

    1. Departments of *Internal Medicine, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Biochemistry, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Clinical Epidemiology, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, §Research Centre for Prevention and Health, Glostrup University Hospital, Glostrup, DenmarkAllergy, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
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  • A. Linneberg,

    1. Departments of *Internal Medicine, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Biochemistry, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Clinical Epidemiology, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, §Research Centre for Prevention and Health, Glostrup University Hospital, Glostrup, DenmarkAllergy, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
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  • S. Lojo,

    1. Departments of *Internal Medicine, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Biochemistry, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Clinical Epidemiology, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, §Research Centre for Prevention and Health, Glostrup University Hospital, Glostrup, DenmarkAllergy, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
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  • C. Vidal

    1. Departments of *Internal Medicine, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Biochemistry, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Clinical Epidemiology, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, §Research Centre for Prevention and Health, Glostrup University Hospital, Glostrup, DenmarkAllergy, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
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Correspondence:
Dr A. Gonzalez-Quintela, Department of Internal Medicine, Hospital Clinico Universitario, 15706 Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
E-mail: mearturo@usc.es

Summary

Background Alcohol consumption is associated with increased serum IgE of unknown specificity.

Objective To investigate the prevalence of specific IgE to cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants (CCDs) in adults, and its relation to alcohol consumption.

Methods Population-based survey of 457 adults (218 abstainers, 195 light-to-moderate drinkers, 44 heavy drinkers). Specific IgE determinations included a CCD (MUXF3, the N-glycan of bromelain), pollens (Lolium perenne and Olea europaea), Hymenoptera venoms (Apis mellifera and Vespula spp.), and a mite (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus). We replicated these studies in an additional sample of alcoholics (n=138). Inhibition assays were performed in selected cases.

Results In the general population, 5.6% of individuals (95% confidence interval 3.5–7.6%) showed positive (geqslant R: gt-or-equal, slanted0.35 kU/L) CCD-specific IgE. The levels of CCD-specific IgE were particularly high in heavy drinkers, who also showed a high prevalence of positive IgE to pollens and Hymenoptera venoms, doubling (at least) the prevalence found in alcohol abstainers and light-to-moderate drinkers. The presence of IgE to pollens and Hymenoptera venoms was closely correlated with the presence of CCD-specific IgE. These features were confirmed in the additional sample of alcoholics. Inhibition studies indicated a role of CCD interference in IgE positivity to pollen and Hymenoptera allergens in alcoholics.

Conclusions CCD-specific IgE is prevalent in heavy drinkers, and is associated with positive IgE to pollens and Hymenoptera venoms. Specific IgE results should be interpreted with caution in heavy drinkers.

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