Fish and other fish-derived products play an important role in human nutrition, but they may also be a potent food allergen, if ingested, contacted and inhaled.
Spanish researchers recently published an article in the scientific journal Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, investigating the prevalence of fish allergy, particularly in Europe.
Results show that fish allergy appears to depend on the amount of fish eaten in the local diet; Spain has an increasing high consumption of fish in Europe. Fish is the third most frequent allergen in children under 2 yr of age after egg and cow’s milk (in Spain).
Allergic reactions to fish seems to be related to a muscle protein, the parvalbumin, that is abundant in fish and that has a role in relaxing muscles from contraction.
IgE-mediated allergic reactions to fish can be due to ingestion or contact with fish. It can occur from inhalation of cooking vapors which is characterized by either acute urticaria and angioedema acute symptoms. Other symptoms include worsening of atopic dermatitis, respiratory symptoms such as rhinitis or asthma, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting. Anaphylaxis may also occur. Adverse reactions to fish may also be of non-allergic origin, due to food contamination or newly formed toxic products.
Source: Pediatric Allergy and Immunology
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