Document Detail

Recent advances in the understanding of egg allergens: basic, industrial, and clinical perspectives.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18543935     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The emergence of egg allergy has had both industrial and clinical implications. In industrialized countries, egg allergy accounts for one of the most prevalent food hypersensitivities, especially in children. Atopic dermatitis represents the most common clinical manifestation in infancy; however, the range of clinical signs is broad and encompasses life-threatening anaphylaxis. The dominant egg allergens are proteins and are mainly present in the egg white, for example, ovalbumin, ovomucoid, ovotransferrin, and lysozyme. However, egg yolk also displays low-level allergenicity, for example, alpha-livetin. Strict avoidance of the offending food remains the most common recommendation for egg-allergic individuals. Nevertheless, the omnipresence of egg-derived components in prepackaged or prepared foods makes it difficult. Therefore, more efficient preventive approaches are investigated to protect consumers from inadvertent exposure and ensuing adverse reactions. On the one hand, commercial kits have become readily available that allow for the detection of egg contaminants at trace levels. On the other hand, attempts to produce hypoallergenic egg-containing products through food-processing techniques have met with promising results, but the approach is limited due to its potentially undesirable effects on the unique functional and sensory attributes of egg proteins. Therefore, the development of preventive or curative strategies for egg allergy remains strongly warranted. Pilot studies have suggested that oral immunotherapy (IT) with raw or cooked preparations of egg may represent a safe alternative, immediately available to allergic subjects, but remains applicable to only nonanaphylactic patients. Due to the limitations of conventional IT, novel forms of immunotherapy are sought based on information obtained from the molecular characterization of major egg allergens. In the past decade, promising approaches to the treatment and prevention of egg allergy have been explored and include, among others, the production of hypoallergenic recombinant egg proteins, the development of customized peptides, and bacterial-mediated immunotherapy. Nonspecific approaches have also been evaluated, and preliminary trials with the use of probiotic bacteria have yielded encouraging results. The current understanding of egg allergens offers novel approaches toward the making of food products safe for human consumption and the development of efficient immunotherapeutic strategies.
Yoshinori Mine; Marie Yang
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Review     Date:  2008-06-11
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of agricultural and food chemistry     Volume:  56     ISSN:  1520-5118     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Agric. Food Chem.     Publication Date:  2008 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-07-03     Completed Date:  2008-09-02     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0374755     Medline TA:  J Agric Food Chem     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  4874-900     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Food Science, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G2W1, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Allergens / chemistry,  immunology*,  metabolism
Egg Proteins / chemistry,  immunology*,  metabolism
Epitope Mapping
Food Analysis
Food Hypersensitivity / epidemiology,  immunology,  prevention & control,  therapy*
Food-Processing Industry / trends*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Allergens; 0/Egg Proteins

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