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Comparison of the allergenicity of Actinidia deliciosa (kiwi fruit) and Actinidia chinensis (gold kiwi)


Jane Lucas, University Child Health (MP 803), Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK
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Actinidia chinensis (gold kiwi) is a newly available fruit which has been shown to have in vitro immunoglobulin E (IgE) cross-reactivity with green kiwi. This is the first study to investigate clinical reactivity of gold kiwi. Five patients clinically allergic to green kiwi were investigated by skin test and double-blind placebo controlled food challenge (DBPCFC) with gold kiwi fruit. IgE-binding patterns of individual sera from the five challenged patients and a pool of sera from a further nine patients with kiwi allergy were compared in the two fruits by Western blotting. Cross reactivity of proteins in the two fruits was assessed by inhibition of immunoblots and by IgE enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) inhibition. Four of the five patients had a positive DBPCFC to gold kiwi. Western blotting showed marked differences in the allergen patterns of green and gold kiwi. However, inhibition of the immunoblots and ELISA assay reveals extensive inhibition of IgE binding to proteins in each fruit by the alternative species. Gold kiwi fruit is allergenic and patients allergic to green kiwi are at risk of reacting to the gold kiwi fruit. Despite having different protein profiles and IgE-binding patterns, the two species have proteins that extensively cross-inhibit the binding to IgE.