Peanut seed storage proteins are responsible for clinical reactivity in Spanish peanut-allergic children


María Pedrosa, MD, Allergy Dept. University Hospital La Paz, P Castellana 261, 28046 Madrid, Spain.
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Background:  Seed storage proteins (SSP; Ara h 1, Ara h 2, Ara h 3) have been shown to be major peanut allergens, although recently, peanut lipid transfer protein has been reported to be an important allergen in the Mediterranean area. We sought to investigate the sensitization pattern to peanut SSP and vegetable pan-allergens in a group of peanut-allergic children compared with a peanut-tolerant group.

Methods:  One hundred and twenty-three children who presented with food allergy were included in the study. Tolerance to peanut ingestion was assessed. Specific IgE was determined by ImmunoCAP, and microarray ISAC was performed. Sensitization frequencies and levels of specific IgE were compared between groups.

Results:  Fifty-five of 123 children presented symptoms upon contact or ingestion. Frequency of sensitization to Ara h 1, Ara h 2, and Ara h 3 was 60.0%, 72.7%, and 43.6%, respectively, in the group of allergic children vs. 7.4%, 1.5%, and 7.4% in the group of tolerant children. Levels of specific IgE against Ara h 1, Ara h 2, and Ara h 3 were significantly higher in the allergic group (p < 0.001). The frequency of sensitization and the levels of specific IgE against Cor a 8 (36.4% vs. 16.2%) were significantly higher in the allergic children, whereas no significant differences were found for Pru p 3. No differences were seen for other pan-allergens. Patients sensitized to SSP, regardless of sensitization to nsLTP, were allergic rather than tolerant.

Conclusion:  In our population, peanut-allergic children were mainly sensitive to SSP. A few patients were also sensitive to some nsLTPs. No differences were shown in other pan-allergens.