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Characteristics of Allergens Oral allergy syndrome Latex allergy

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Presentation on theme: "Characteristics of Allergens Oral allergy syndrome Latex allergy"— Presentation transcript:

1 Characteristics of Allergens Oral allergy syndrome Latex allergy
Oral Tolerance Characteristics of Allergens Oral allergy syndrome Latex allergy

2 Development of Tolerance
Food comprises material from a huge variety of plants and animals, all “foreign” to the human body This material is intimately integrated as structural and functional elements in the body How does the body by-pass the natural barrier to “non-self” material? At the same time potential pathogens taken in with the food are excluded

3 Tolerance (continued)
In addition, micro-organisms of the resident microflora are tolerated: Estimated 1012 – 1014 microorganisms per mL in the bowel of the healthy human Essential for: Exclusion of potential pathogens Synthesis of essential vitamins (Vitamin K; some B vitamins) Interaction with mucosal epithelium to maintain health

4 Immune System of the Gut
GALT is located mainly in the lamina propria It is present in the small intestine: Diffusely (distributed throughout the tissue) Solitary nodules Aggregated nodules: Peyer’s patches

5 Immune System of the Gut
Lymphocytes are found both in the lamina propria Mostly CD4+ T helper cells And between the epithelial cells Mostly CD8+ T suppressor cells T cells migrate out of the epithelium to mesenteric lymph nodes, proliferate, and enter the systemic circulation Return to mucosa as memory T cells

6 Peyer’s Patch

7 Immune Processing in the Gut
Antigen-presenting cells are found predominantly in Peyer’s patches Also as scattered cells in lamina propria Most efficient sampling occurs in the flattened epithelial cells overlying Peyer’s patches Lymphoid tissues contains both T cells and B cells Activated T cells (CD4+) aid in differentiation of B cells to antibody-presenting cells

8 Immune System of the Gut
Other haematopoietic cells in the GI tissue include: Eosinophilic granulocytes (4-6% of lamina propria cells) Neutrophilic granulocytes (rare in non-inflamed tissue) Monocytes Mast cells (2-3% of lamina propria cells)

9 Immune Activation in GALT Particulate Antigens
Particulate antigens, such as intact bacteria, viruses, parasites are processed through M (microfold) cells, specialised epithelial cells that overlie Peyer’s patches Sequence of Events: M cell endocytoses macromolecule at the apical end of the cell Transports it across cell to the basolateral surface Antigen encounters intra-epithelial lymphocytes Lymphocytes (T and B cells) are activated to generate antigen-specific IgM and IgA

10 Immune Activation in GALT Particulate Antigens (continued)
IgA and IgM molecules pass through mucosal epithelial cell and link to receptor on cell surface Expelled into the gut lumen, together with receptor Receptor forms the secretory component that protects the antibody from digestion by enzymes in the gut lumen Secretory IgM (SIgM) and secretory IgA (SIgA) function as “first line defence” agents in mucous secretions

11 Secretory IgA

12 Development of Tolerance in GALT: Soluble Protein
Intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) appear to be the major antigen presenting cells involved in immunosuppression in the GALT Events leading to tolerance: IEC express MHC class II molecules Take up soluble protein Transport it through the cell T and B cell lymphocytes at the basolateral interface may be activated May result in generation of low levels of antigen-specific IgG

13 Development of Tolerance
Antibody production against foods is a universal phenomenon in adults and children Most antibodies to foods in non-reactive humans are IgG, but do not trigger the complement cascade Such antibodies are not associated with allergy CD8+ suppressor cells at basolateral surface are activated In conjunction with MHC class I molecules Suppressor cytokines generated (e.g. TGF-) Results in lymphocyte anergy or deletion

14 Development of Tolerance
Normal tolerance to dietary proteins is partly due to generation of CD8+ T suppressor cells These are at first located in the GALT, and after prolonged exposure to the same antigen can be detected in the spleen Activation depends on several factors including: antigen characteristics dose frequency of exposure

15 Development of Tolerance (continued)
In addition, regulatory T cells (Treg) in the thymus stop further action Probably mediated by TGF- Possibly regulatory T cells named inducible T reg (TrI) generate IL-10, which also has an immuno-suppressive function Tolerance to food antigens after early Th2 response may be due to the same process: Children “outgrow” their early food allergies usually between 2 and 7 years of age

16 IgG IgE CD4+CD25+Treg TGF-β1 IL-10 TrI T helper ( CD4+) cells respond
Immunological Pathways to Protection, Allergy, or Oral Tolerance Antigen- presenting cell T helper ( CD4+) cells respond Th1 Receptor Il-2 Il-3 IFN GM-CSF IgG Antigen Viruses, Bacteria, Other foreign matter Th0 IL-2 IL-3 IL-4 IL-5 Il-13 INF GM-CSF Specific cytokines determine response: Th1 = protection Th2 = allergy MHC Class II Allergens T helper cells produce characteristic cytokines White blood cells aid the immune system in recognizing foreign proteins Th2 Il-3 Il-4 Il-5 Il-13 GM-CSF IgE Normal Response to Food and Beverages Th3 Development of tolerance following early allergy CD4+CD25+Treg TGF-β1 IL-10 Anergy: No immune response Oral Tolerance TrI

17 Development of Tolerance
Evidence indicates that “low dose, continuous exposure” to antigen is important in T cell tolerance Large dose, infrequent exposure seems to promote sensitisation

18 Development of Tolerance continued
Other factors that might influence tolerance include: Individual’s age Nature of intestinal microflora Microbial lipopolysaccharide from Gram-negative Enterobacteria in the colon might act as an immunological adjuvant

19 Food Allergy Food allergens reach the intestinal mucosa intact
Suggested to by-pass gut immune processing by moving through weakened “tight junction” between epithelial cells Tight junction weakened by: Immaturity (in infants) Alcohol ingestion Inflammation in the gut epithelium and associated tissues

20 Food Allergy continued
Absorption of proteins more efficient through the gut epithelium than through the oral mucosa Induce production of IgE Attach to IgE on the surface of mast cells in the vicinity of the gut epithelium to cause local symptoms Cause allergy symptoms in distant organ systems after absorption

21 Suggested Classification of Food Allergens [Sampson 2003]:
Direct sensitisation via the gastrointestinal tract after ingestion Water-soluble glycoproteins or proteins Stable to heat, proteases, and acid 10 – 70 kD in size Class 2: Sensitisation by inhalation of air-borne allergen Cross-reaction to foods containing structurally identical proteins Heat labile

22 Characteristics of Food Allergens
Physicochemical properties that confer allergenicity are relatively unknown Usual characteristics of allergenic fraction of food: Protein or glycoprotein Molecular size 10 to 70 kDa Heat stable Water soluble Relatively resistant to acid hydrolysis Relatively resistant to proteases (especially digestive enzymes)

23 Lipid Transfer Proteins
Recently identified as food allergens Induce specific IgE antibodies LTPs are generally resistant to proteolytic enzymes, gastric acid, and heat Tend to be stable after food processing Reach the gastrointestinal immune system and induce IgE directly

24 Chemical Structure of Food Allergens
Allergenic proteins from an increasing number of foods have been characterised The Food Allergy Research Resource Program (Farrp) database ( contains more than 100 unique proteins of known sequence that are classified as food allergens

25 Incidence of Allergy to Specific Foods
In young children: 90% of reactions caused by: Milk - Soy Egg - Wheat Peanut In adults: 85% of reactions caused by: Peanut - Tree nuts Fish Shellfish

26 Incidence of Allergy to Specific Foods
Increasing incidence of allergy to “exotic foods” such as: Kiwi Papaya Seeds: Sesame; Rape; Poppy Grains: Psyllium

27 Food Allergen Scale Joneja 2003

28 Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS)
OAS refers to clinical symptoms in the mucosa of the mouth and throat that: Result from direct contact with a food allergen In an individual who also exhibits allergy to inhaled allergens. Usually pollens (pollinosis) are the primary allergens Pollens usually trigger rhinitis or asthma in these subjects

29 Oral Allergy Syndrome Characteristics
Inhaled pollen allergens sensitise tissues of the upper respiratory tract Tissues of the respiratory tract are adjacent to oral tissues, and the mucosa is continuous sensitisation of one leads to sensitisation of the other First described in 1942 in patients allergic to birch pollens who experience oral symptoms when eating apple and hazelnut OAS symptoms are mild in contrast to primary food allergens and occur only in oral tissues

30 Oral Allergy Syndrome Allergens
Pollens and foods that cause OAS are usually botanically unrelated Several types of plant proteins with specific functions have been identified as being responsible for OAS: Profilins Pathogenesis-related proteins Hevamines

31 Oral Allergy Syndrome Allergens
Profilins are associated with reproductive functions Pathogenesis-related proteins tend to be expressed when the tree is under “stress” (e.g. growing in a polluted area) Hevamines are hydrolytic enzymes with lysozyme activity

32 Oral Allergy Syndrome Cross-Reactivity
Occurs most frequently in persons allergic to birch and alder pollens Also occurs with allergy to: Ragweed pollen Mugwort pollen Grass pollens

33 Oral Allergy Syndrome Associated foods
Foods most frequently associated with OAS are mainly fruits, a few vegetables, and nuts The foods cause symptoms in the oral cavity and local tissues immediately on contact: Swelling Throat tightening Tingling Itching “Blistering”

34 Oral Allergy Syndrome Characteristics of Associated foods
The associated foods usually cause a reaction when they are eaten raw Foods tend to lose their reactivity when cooked This suggests that the allergens responsible are heat labile Allergic persons can usually eat cooked fruits, vegetables, nuts, but must avoid them in the raw state

35 Oral Allergy Syndrome Cross-reacting allergens
Birch pollen (also: mugwort, and grass pollens) with: Apple Stone Fruits (Apricot, Peach, Nectarine, Plum, Cherry) Kiwi Fruit Orange Peanut Melon Hazelnut Watermelon Carrot Potato Celery Tomato Fennel

36 Oral Allergy Syndrome Cross-reacting allergens
Ragweed pollen with: Banana Cantaloupe Honeydew Watermelon Other Melons Zucchini (Courgette) Cucumber

37 Oral Allergy Syndrome Diagnosis
Syndrome seen most often in persons with birch pollen allergy compared to those with allergy to other pollens Seen in adults much more frequently than children Reactions to raw fruits and vegetables are the most frequent food allergies with onset in persons over the age of 10 years Has also been described in persons with IgE-mediated allergy to shrimp and egg  This may not be true OAS; allergy may be expressed as symptoms in the mouth in conditions distinct from OAS

38 Expression of OAS Symptoms
Oral reactivity to the food significantly decreases when food is cooked Reactivity of the antigen depends on ripeness Antigen becomes more potent as the plant material ages People differ in the foods which trigger OAS, even when they are allergic to the cross-reacting pollens Foods express the same antigen as the allergenic pollen, but not all people will develop OAS to all foods expressing that antigen

39 Identification of Foods Responsible for OAS Symptoms
Skin tests will identify the allergenic plant pollen Skin testing has not been successful in identifying persons who react to cross-reacting food antigens Plant antigens are unstable and do not survive the process of antigen preparation Crushing plant material leads to release of phenols and degradative enzymes Prick + prick technique are more reliable than standard skin tests Lancet is inserted in raw fruit or vegetable, withdrawn and then used to prick the person’s skin

40 Latex Allergy Allergy to latex is thought to start as a Type IV (contact) hypersensitivity reaction Contact is with a 30 kd protein, usually through: Abraded (non-intact) skin Mucous membrane Exposed tissue (e.g. during surgery)

41 Latex Allergy Cross-reacting allergens
As antigen comes into contact with immune cells, repeated exposure seems to lead to IgE mediated allergy Similar 30 kd proteins in foods tend to trigger the same IgE response In extreme cases can cause anaphylactic reaction

42 Latex Allergy Related foods
Foods that have been shown to contain a similar 30 kd antigen include: Avocado Tomato Banana Celery Kiwi Fruit Peanut Fig Tree Nuts Passion Fruit Chestnut Citrus Fruits Grapes Pineapple - Papaya

43 Common allergens in unrelated plant materials: Summary
OAS and latex allergy are examples of conditions in which common antigens, expressed in botanically unrelated plants, are capable of eliciting a hypersensitivity reaction Previous assumptions that plant foods in the same botanic family are likely to elicit the production of the same antigen- specific IgE are thus questionable

44 Common allergens in unrelated plant materials: Summary
In practice, when a specific plant food elicits an allergic response, foods in the same botanic family rarely elicit allergy It is important to recognize the allergenic potential of antigens common to certain botanically unrelated plant species, and take appropriate measures to avoid exposure of the allergic individual to them

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