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Abstract

During the last decade, cases of the fish parasite Anisakis simplex infection and allergy in human have increased in countries with high fish consumption. Our aim was to perform an extended seroprevalence study of anti-IgE antibodies against this parasite in Norway, one of the high fish-consuming countries. At the Department of Immunology and Transfusion Medicine and the Laboratory of Clinical Biochemistry, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway, two main groups of anonymized serum samples were collected; the first (n = 993) from recently recruited blood donors (designated ‘BDO’) and the second (n = 414) from patient with total IgE levels ≥1000 kU/l (designated ‘IGE+’). The sera were analysed by the ImmunoCAP® method for total IgE and IgE antibodies against A. simplex, house dust mite (HDM), shrimp, cod, crab, brine shrimp and shrimp tropomyosin. The A. simplex positive sera were further tested by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method, which uses 2 recombinant (r) major allergens, rAni s 1 and rAni s 7 as target antigens. SDS-PAGE and Western immunoblotting analyses were also performed. Whereas the prevalences by ImmunoCAP® were 0.4% and 16.2% in the BDO and IGE+ groups, respectively, analyses with recombinant allergens showed only 0.0% and 0.2%. Cross-reactivity and immunoblotting analyses suggested that most of the ImmunoCAP® positive sera were probably false-positive due to cross-sensitization to shrimp and HDM. However, positivity due to other A. simplex antigens should also be considered. Compared with other high fish-consuming countries, we observed a very low seroprevalence of anti-Anisakis IgE antibodies in a Norwegian population.