ALLERGY RESOURCES

COMPREHENSIVE ALLERGY RESOURCES FOR EVERYONE - THE TOP 14 ALLERGENS AND BEYOND

COMPREHENSIVE ALLERGY RESOURCES FOR EVERYONE - THE TOP 14 ALLERGENS AND BEYOND

HOW ARE ALLERGY PROTEINS NAMED?

In my allergy pages I often refer to the named proteins which could be causing a person to suffer allergic reactions and people often ask me – what do they mean?

Allergenic proteins in food and pollen have names like Sol t 1, Bet v 1 and Pru p 1.

The first 3 letters indicate the genus of the plant the allergen comes from, the single lowercase letter indicates the species of the plant the allergen comes from and the number indicates which allergen we are referring to.

Some foods and pollens only contain 1 allergenic protein, but foods like peanuts and wheat have multiple allergens (18 and 45 respectively) and are named chronologically from when they were identified and then ultimately accepted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and added to the Allergen Nomenclature Index. If you are interested you can look at the Allergen Index.

Examples of Protein Names

Birch Pollen
Bet v 1 = Betula verrucose 1 (1st allergen identified and accepted by WHO in 2003)
Bet v 8 = Betula verrucose 8 (8th allergen identified and accepted by WHO in 2016)

Potato
Sol t 1 = Solanum tuberosum 1 (1st allergen identified and accepted by WHO in 2003)

Peach
Pru p 1 = Prunus persica 1 (1st allergen identified and accepted by WHO in 2007)

Commonly Shaped Proteins

We also often refer to proteins as “Xxx x 1 – like”, which means proteins in foods that are similarly shaped and can also cause allergic reactions in some circumstances. We try and group these proteins together to make sense of them, find immunotherapy solutions and to try and raise awareness of possible cross reactivity.

Examples of Commonly Shaped Proteins

Birch Pollen
Bet v 1 – This is a very common allergen shape and is found in lots of pollens and foods (you can find the full list on the Birch Pollen page), it is also known as PR-10 (pathogenesis related). The associated syndrome is called Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome and it causes oral allergy type symptoms. This group of allergens is less likely to cause severe allergic reactions and most foods are rendered edible with heating or freezing which damages the protein.

Latex
Hev b 11 – This is also a common allergen shape but these proteins are more frequently called chitinases. The associated syndrome is called Latex Food Syndrome (you can find the full list of cross-reactive foods on the Latex Food Syndrome page). This group of foods are more likely to cause severe food and contact reactions as chitinases are a hardy group of proteins.

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