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Original Article


Identification of New Potential Allergens From Nile Perch (Lates niloticus) and Cod (Gadus morhua)


JM Tomm,1 T van Do,2 C Jende,1 JC Simon,3 R Treudler,3 M von Bergen,1,4 M Averbeck3

1Department of Proteomics, Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany
2Section for Clinical Allergology, Laboratory of Clinical Biochemistry, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
3Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
4Department of Metabolomics, Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2013; Vol. 23(3): 159-167



Globalization of the food industry has led to widespread exposure to new nondomestic fish species; therefore, identification of potential allergens is necessary in order to diagnose allergic reactions.

Objective: Contact with a patient who was allergic to Nile perch (Lates niloticus) prompted us to investigate the immunoglobulin (Ig) E–reactive proteins that could be allergens of this species.

Methods: 2D gel electrophoresis was used to separate the muscle proteins of L niloticus and Gadus morhua. Immunoblotting was performed with sera from 12 patients with a history of immediate-type allergic reaction to fish and from atopic and nonatopic controls. IgE-reactive proteins were detected and identified using mass spectrometry.

Results: The index patient had low levels of IgE binding to parvalbumins. However, 8 putative allergens other than parvalbumin from L niloticus and 5 from G morhua were identified. Further investigation revealed cross-sensitivity to enolase 3 from L niloticus in 7 of the 12 fish-allergic individuals (58%), whereas 11 of the 12 patients (92%) were sensitized to enolase 3 from G morhua. However, atopic control patients were also sensitized to enolase 3 from L niloticus and G morhua.

Conclusion: Identification of species-specific allergens and individual sensitization could help us to improve avoidance strategies.

Key words: 2D gel electrophoresis. Gadus morhua. Lates niloticus. Fish allergens. IgE. Western blot.