I recently had the opportunity to work with a multicentric group of experts in immune profiling and immunogenic responses on the creation of a scientific peer-reviewed paper titled, “Meat allergy associated with galactosyl-α-(1,3)-galactose (α-Gal)-Closing diagnostic gaps by anti-α-Gal IgE immune profiling”. The paper, originally published in the European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in June of 2017, examines different α-Gal-containing analytes in singleplex and multiplex assays to resolve individual sensitization patterns with IgE against α-Gal.

Glycoproteins and glycolipids of some mammalian species contain the disaccharide galactosyl-α-(1,3)-galactose (α-Gal), but it is known that α-Gal is immunogenic in humans and causes glycan-specific IgG and IgE responses with clinical relevance. In fact, α-Gal is the cause of the adverse IgE-mediated immune response against the monoclonal therapeutic antibody Cetuximab (CTX) which is associated with delayed anaphylaxis to red meat.

As part of the study, sera (obtained from 12 allergy centers) with meat allergies (MA), idiopathic allergies (IA), and healthy control subjects were analyzed via ImmunoCAP® for the presence of IgE against α-Gal by using Cetuximab and other reagents as capture antigens. In more than 90% of the sera from MA patients, specific IgE were detectable. Interestingly, one third of the MA patients had a history of tick bites, which was described as a possible sensitization route for α-Gal. Non-meat-allergic control individuals were not sensitized to α-Gal.

Based on our findings, the authors determined that several conclusions can be made about immunogenic responses to α-Gal:

  1. IgE antibodies against Cetuximab are correlated with meat allergies (MA).
  2. Patients with idiopathic anaphylaxis (IA) benefit from an analysis by ImmunoCAP with Cetuximab.
  3. There are individual sensitization patterns in patients with overt MA and IA/suspected MA.
  4. Higher amounts of α-Gal in pork and beef innards compared to muscle meat are a plausible explanation for the difference in allergic symptom severity.

I am pleased to have been a part of this research group and co-authoring this scientific publication; I enjoyed collaborating with other allergologists and immunologists dedicated to innovative work. I feel that we made significant conclusions that will inform future studies on similar topics. Download our paper today to learn more about our innovative methods and specific results.

You can also learn more about BioAgilytix’s expertise in immunogenicity here.