Apricot Allergy Test
Latin name: Prunus armeniaca
Source material: Fruit
Common names: Apricot
Synonyms: P. armeniaca var. vulgaris, Armeniaca vulgaris, Amygdalus armeniaca
Apricot is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Apricot Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Apricot is a fruit in the same subgenus as the plum, which originated in China and Central Asia and is now cultivated in temperate climates around the globe. It is the fifth most popular fruit in terms of worldwide production.
The apricot fruit is classed as a drupe, similar to but smaller than the peach, to which it is closely related. It is produced by the apricot tree, a flowering tree which grows to between 8 and 12 meters in height.
The fruit ranges from pale yellow to orange in colour, with a red tinge appearing on the side most exposed to sunlight. It contains a single stone, or pit with a ridged, grainy texture.
Apricots are transported and sold either fresh, canned or dried, with the dried variant often being treated with sulphur dioxide to protect against spoilage and preserve the fruit’s colour.
Apricot Allergy Test: Allergen Description
Allergens present in apricot are mostly lipid transfer proteins and are found in much greater concentrations in the skin of the fruit, compared to the pulp.
Apricot Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
WHilst cross-reactivity among other species in the same family and genus might be expected (e.g. almond, apple, apricot, peach, cloudberry, dewberry, raspberry) this has not yet been observed. Potential allergy to these other species should not be entirely discounted however.
Cross reactivity with birch pollen, apple, pear and sweet cherry may result from the similarity among the major allergens in these species.
Apricot lipid transfer protein may in addition cause cross-reactivity with other foods containing LTP, including blueberry, peanut, walnut, pistachio, broccoli, carrot, celery, tomato, melon, kiwi and lettuce and particularly almond, cherry, peach and maize, which contain structurally similar LTPs to apricot.
These LTPs are major allergens for Mediterranean and southern Europe populations in particular, compared to northern or central Europeans.
Cross-reactivity with latex has also been suspected.
Apricot Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Apricot may result in allergic reactions, ranging from mild symptoms such as oral allergy syndrome, to severe systemic reactions such as anaphylaxis.
Allergy to apricot and related fruits is often particularly severe in patients not displaying a related pollen allergy, and this is usually related to an LTP. Other common associations are with birch pollinosis, especially in central and northern Europe, or with grass pollen allergy, specifically in central Spain.
In Europe the most commonly reported symptoms have been oral allergy syndrome and urticaria however angioedema, shortness of breath, rhinitis, wheezing and dry cough have been observed in individual cases.
In patients with birch pollen allergy alongside Rosaceae fruit allergy, the most reliable method to diagnose food hypersensitivity has been shown to be skin-prick tests with fresh food. Conversely, in those without birch pollen allergy, skin-prick tests with with prepared peel extracts is more reliable.
Intestinal obstruction following the ingestion of whole dried apricots can result from the fruit swelling within the GI tract.
Sulphur dioxide and other sulphite preservatives, used to preserve dried apricot, may result in respiratory and other adverse reactions.