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Current Topics in Allergy

From Pollinosis to Digestive Allergy


J Bartra,1,2 J Sastre,2,3 A del Cuvillo,4 J Montoro,5 I Jáuregui,6 I Dávila,7 M Ferrer,8 J Mullol,9,2 A Valero1,2

1 Unitat d’Al.lèrgia, Servei de Pneumologia i Al.lèrgia Respiratòria, Hospital Clinic (ICT), Barcelona, Spain
2 Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Respiratorias (CIBERES)
3 Servicio de Alergia, Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Madrid, Spain
4 Clínica Dr. Lobatón, Cádiz, Spain
5 Unidad de Alergia, Hospital La Plana, Vila-Real (Castellón), Spain
6 Servicio de Alergología, Hospital de Basurto, Bilbao, Spain
7 Servicio de Inmunoalergia, Hospital Universitario, Salamanca, Spain
8 Departamento de Alergia e Inmunología Clínica, Clínica Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
9 Unitat de Rinologia & Clínica de l’Olfacte, Servei d’Oto-rino-laringologia, Hospital Clínic Immunoal.lèrgia Respiratòria Clínica i Experimental, IDIBAPS. Barcelona, Spain

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2009; Vol. 19, Suppl. 1: 3-10



Pollinosis is defined as the appearance of respiratory symptoms (rhinoconjunctivitis and/or asthma) as a result of the inhalation of pollen to which the individual is sensitized. Pollen allergy becomes all the more relevant on taking into account that it may be responsible for the development of plant food allergy, or may even constitute the direct cause of esophageal, gastric and/or intestinal inflammation in the context of a digestive allergic process. Pollen can act as a source of allergens that induce primary sensitization in the host as a result of inhalation, with secondary allergy to plant foods containing shared allergens via a cross-reactivity mechanism. The observed pattern of
plant food allergy depends on the dietary habits of the population in a given geographical setting, and on the pollination found in that setting. Pollinosis may account for the greater or lesser prevalence of allergy to certain plant foods, and for the severity of the associated
reactions. Beyond the digestive tract inflammation that may result from allergy to a given food, pollinosis is also intrinsically able to generate a clinically relevant or irrelevant Th2-mediated inflammatory response at digestive level, and may even give rise to eosinophilic esophagitis. Inter-relation with the airway may also extend to the digestive tract as a consequence of the systemic response that characterizes allergic

Key words
: Food allergy, digestive allergy, allergic asthma, eosinophilic esophagitis, pollen, pollinosis, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis.