Birch pollen-related food allergy is highly prevalent and often perennial

Patients with birch pollen allergy often develop allergic reactions to plant foods - a condition often called oral allergy syndrome, or pollen-food allergy syndrome.

In this study from Austria, food-induced symptoms were evaluated in 200 patients with birch pollen allergy.

IgE and IgG(4) levels were quantified by ImmunoCAP specific for:

- major birch pollen allergen Bet v 1
- birch profilin Bet v 2
- Bet v 1 homologs in apple (Mal d 1) and hazelnut (Cor a 1)

73% of the patients experienced food allergy, which was perennial in 86% of them.

The oral allergy syndrome was the main clinical manifestation. More than 58% of the patients also had food-induced rhinoconjunctivitis.

Apples and hazelnuts were identified as the most frequent triggers.

Food allergy correlated with IgE reactivity to Bet v 1. Birch pollen-related food allergy is highly prevalent and often perennial.

Typical cross-reactive associations:

BIRCH - Apple, peach, apricot, hazelnut, potato, carrot, celery
RAGWEED - Banana, cucumber, cantaloupe, watermelon, zucchini, cucumber
MUGWORT - Celery, onion, mustard, cabbage

Cross-reactivity in Pollen-Food Allergy Syndrome (PFAS) or Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS) (click to enlarge the image).


Birch pollen-related food allergy: Clinical aspects and the role of allergen-specific IgE and IgG(4) antibodies. Geroldinger-Simic M, Zelniker T, Aberer W, Ebner C, Egger C, Greiderer A, Prem Md N, Lidholm J, Ballmer-Weber BK, Vieths S, Bohle B. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011 Jan 19. PMID: 21251701

Oral allergy syndrome

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