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Keywords:

  • basophil activation test;
  • DBPCFC;
  • food allergy;
  • tomato cultivars

Summary

Background

Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) are consumed worldwide and their amount of consumption is associated with the prevalence of tomato allergy. Therefore, identification of tomato cultivars with reduced allergenicity would potentially increase the quality of life of affected subjects.

Objective

In this study, we examined the allergenic and biological activity of two different tomato cultivars in tomato allergic subjects.

Methods

Twenty-five subjects with tomato allergy were identified using double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenges (DBPCFC). We applied skin prick test (SPT) and further DBPCFC to investigate the clinical differences between two tomato cultivars (‘Reisetomate’ and ‘Matina’). To examine the molecular basis of allergenic activity, immunoblotting and basophil activation test (BAT) were performed.

Results

The cultivar ‘Reisetomate’ induced significantly less positive skin reactions (= 0.045) and elicited fewer symptoms after oral challenge compared with ‘Matina’ (= 0.047). Molecular assessment revealed that IgE-binding profiles were variable on an interindividual basis, but no major differences between ‘Reisetomate’ and ‘Matina’ were detectable. In contrast, BAT underpinned the clinical differences evoked by the different tomato cultivars and showed a left-shift of the dose-response curve obtained for ‘Matina’ extract (= 0.046).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Tomato cultivars promote a distinct clinical reactivity in tomato allergic subjects, demonstrated using SPT, DBPCFC and BAT. The molecular background for these differences could not be clarified, as the IgE-binding profiles did not reveal significant alterations. This might be due to instabilities of physicochemical sensitive proteins and/or different isoform expression of allergens.