Allergen discovered against apple allergy

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Specific allergen discovered against apple allergy

People who are particularly allergic to birch, alder and hazel often also suffer from a food allergy. Around 50 percent of people allergic to birch pollen cannot tolerate nuts and some raw fruits, including apples, pears, plums, peaches, cherries and almonds. Some spices can also be problematic. The research results of scientists from the Institute for Pathophysiology and Allergy Research at the "MedUni" Vienna can possibly help those affected. Allergens are intended to desensitize birch pollen allergies to apples.

With "apple allergy" itching and redness in the mouth and throat In Germany alone, experts estimate the number of pollen allergy sufferers to be around 25 million. Many suffer from a so-called cross allergy, which leads to food intolerance. In allergy to birch pollen, cross allergy mainly affects nuts and fruit from the rose family, such as apples and pears. Sufferers complain of swelling, redness and itching in the mouth and throat when eating this food.

Vaccinations for pollen allergy sufferers can bring hay fever under control, but this generally has no effect on cross allergies. Researchers at MedUni Vienna recently discovered an apple allergen (Mal d 1) that can be used to treat an “apple allergy”. As part of their investigation, they dripped the artificially produced molecule Mal d 1 under the tongue of birch pollen allergy sufferers who also suffered from a cross allergy. The drops suggested that the immune system was eating an apple. The immune system responded as expected, showing the first signs of tolerance. The scientists assume that those affected will react less sensitively if the treatment is prolonged. For allergy sufferers, the study results could mean a significant improvement in their quality of life, since they have to limit their diet considerably due to cross allergies. A planned clinical study is intended to support the results. (ag)

Picture: Günther Gumhold /

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