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UNDERSTANDING ALPHA-GAL RED MEAT ALLERGY

Investigators
Commins, Scott Palmer
Institutions
University of North Carolina
Start date
2018
End date
2023
Objective
PROJECT SUMMARY Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can be rapidly progressing and fatal. In instances wherethe triggering allergen is not known, establishing the etiology of anaphylaxis is pivotal to long-term riskmanagement. Our recent work has identified a novel IgE antibody response to a mammalian oligosaccharideepitope, galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose (?-gal), that has been associated with two distinct forms of anaphylaxis:i) immediate onset anaphylaxis during first exposure to intravenous cetuximab, and ii) delayed onsetanaphylaxis 3-6 hours after ingestion of mammalian food products (e.g., beef and pork). The overarching goalfor this proposal is that defining both the cause and the mechanism of ?-gal IgE response, as well asidentifying the antigen responsible for the delayed food reactions, will provide insight into the factorsthat govern allergic responses and control anaphylaxis. Our novel ?-gal-allergic mouse model will allowus to test the central hypothesis that tick bites induce a basophil-dependent, ?-gal specific immune responsethat, due to unconventional T cell antigen presentation, results in delayed allergic reactions to red meat. Thesignificance of investigating these reactions comes not only from the obvious importance of understanding anovel life-threatening form of food allergy, but also because of the possibility of defining a totally newmechanism for reactions related to an important food substance. Our plan of research focuses on theelucidating the role of immune cells in the murine model, defining the role of tick bites in initiating the IgE andunderstanding the antigen that appears in the bloodstream 3-6 hours after eating beef, pork or lamb. Our current work has shown that IgE to the carbohydrate alpha-gal is present in a cohort of patientswho report delayed anaphylaxis and allergic reactions after eating mammalian meat. We believe that IgE to ?-gal represents a novel cause of food allergy. The specific aims outlined in this proposal are designed toestablish the role of tick bites in initiating the ?-gal IgE response (Specific Aim 1), investigate the mechanismfor IgE production (Specific Aim 2) and elucidate the mechanism for delayed reactions (Specific Aim 3). Overall,these studies are uniquely positioned to provide insight into a recently recognized allergic response that affects>3,500 patients in the southeastern U.S. as well as identify the molecules present during an allergic reactionand establish a model for ecto-parasitic tick bites initiating an IgE response.
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Project source
View this project
Project number
1R01AI135049-01A1
Categories
Food Allergens
Parasites
Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Bacterial Pathogens
Chemical Contaminants
Sanitation and Quality Standards
Commodities
Meat, Poultry, Game