'Apple allergy': Symptoms could be significantly reduced with apple-allergen treatment

October 19, 2012, University of Vienna
“Apple allergy”: symptoms may be significantly reduced in future

The food allergy associated with birch pollen is a condition commonly found alongside an allergy to birch pollen. Sufferers are plagued by swelling and reddening or itching in the mouth and throat area, for example when they eat certain foods, especially apples, but also nuts, peaches or kiwis. A group of researchers at the Institute of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research at the MedUni Vienna, led by Barbara Bohle, has now discovered that the "apple allergy" can be treated effectively with an apple allergen (Mal d 1) and this helps to significantly reduce the symptoms of the condition. 

In the current study, which has now been published in the highly respected , the scientists administered the synthetically manufactured molecule Mal d 1 as drops under the tongue. This "imitates" the eating of an apple. As a consequence, the immune system was activated and it was possible to measure the first signs of tolerance. This indicates that, with a longer period of treatment, sufferers respond with less sensitivity and are able to tolerate the allergen better when they bite into a fresh apple. 

Says Bohle: "This means that recombinant manufactured Mal d 1 is a highly promising molecule for treating the apple allergy associated with birch pollen and for significantly improving the quality of life of sufferers in the future.” This is now set to be demonstrated in a clinical study.

Stubborn cross-allergy

Around 400,000 Austrians have an allergy to birch pollen. Its symptoms can nowadays already be treated effectively with vaccines. The disadvantage is that, "They work against the birch pollen itself, but rarely against the cross-allergies," says Bohle. The birch pollen allergy also only occurs on a seasonal basis. "Affected individuals suffer with the food allergy much more and for much longer, however – literally all year round." 70 per cent of all people with a birch pollen allergy also have a .

Explore further: Get ready for spring - hay fever worse in spring than summer

More information: "Oral exposure to Mal d 1 affects the immune response in patients with birch pollen allergy."M. Geroldinger-Simic, T. Kinaciyan, B. Nagl, U. Baumgartner-Durchschlag, H. Huber, C. Ebner, J. Lidholm, D. Bartel, S. Vieths, B. Jahn-Schmid, B. Bohle. J_Allergy_Clin_Immunol, 2012, Aug. doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2012.06.039

Related Stories

Get ready for spring - hay fever worse in spring than summer

December 21, 2011
Hay fever (runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes) is caused by an allergy to pollen, and most commonly to grass pollen. These tiny grains bring misery to sufferers through spring and summer and pollen levels are often included ...

Probiotic drinks help against allergies

June 16, 2011
Probiotic drinks such as Yakult and Vivit can alleviate the symptoms of pollen allergies, says Wageningen UR PhD scholar Yvonne Vissers. They do this by diminishing the amounts of certain proteins that cause hay fever. The ...

Some pollens are much more aggressive than others

May 21, 2012
Scientists from across Europe investigated the allergic potential of pollens from the three main triggers of hay fever in Europe: Birch, grass and olive. As the Hialine study researchers have found, the allergenicity of the ...

Recommended for you

Novel genomic tools provide new insight into human immune system

January 19, 2018
When the body is under attack from pathogens, the immune system marshals a diverse collection of immune cells to work together in a tightly orchestrated process and defend the host against the intruders. For many decades, ...

Genomics reveals key macrophages' involvement in systemic sclerosis

January 18, 2018
A new international study has made an important discovery about the key role of macrophages, a type of immune cell, in systemic sclerosis (SSc), a chronic autoimmune disease which currently has no cure.

First vaccine developed against grass pollen allergy

January 18, 2018
Around 400 million people worldwide suffer in some form or other from a grass pollen allergy (rhinitis), with the usual symptoms of runny nose, cough and severe breathing problems. In collaboration with the Viennese firm ...

Researchers discover key driver of atopic dermatitis

January 17, 2018
Severe eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that is driven by an allergic reaction. In their latest study, researchers at La Jolla Institute reveal an important player that promotes ...

Who might benefit from immunotherapy? New study suggests possible marker

January 16, 2018
While immunotherapy has made a big impact on cancer treatment, the fact remains that only about a quarter of patients respond to these treatments.

Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system

January 16, 2018
system, which enables these deadly skin cancers to grow and spread.

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

gwrede
not rated yet Oct 19, 2012
The food allergy associated with birch pollen is a condition commonly found alongside an allergy to birch pollen.
Er, uhhuh. Did it ever occur to you that if you really need to state this aloud, then your target audience may not be able to grasp the rest of this article?

What definitely seems to not have occurred to you is, with that kind of a start, most literate viewers will simply skip the article.
theskepticalpsychic
not rated yet Oct 19, 2012
Surely you meant "The food allergy associated with apples is a condition commonly found alongside an allergy to birch pollen."

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.