Aubergine Allergy Test
Latin name: Solanum melongena
Source material: Fresh fruit
Common names: Aubergine, Eggplant, Brinjal, Garden egg, Jew’s apple, Mad apple, Pea apple, Egg apple, Guinea squash
Synonyms: S. melongena esculentum, S. melongena depressum, S. melongena serpentium
Aubergine is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Aubergine Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Aubergine is a member of the nightshade (Solanaceae) family, which includes tomato, potato, and bell pepper.
Aubergines are unknown in any wild variety, and their cultivation requires abundant water and warmth. They can be prepared in many ways: in stews, roasted or grilled, sautéed, stir-fried, breaded and fried, baked, pickled or stuffed.
The most important countries of aubergine production are China, Turkey, Japan, Egypt and Syria. It is often called “the poor man’s meat”, as it is rich in nutrients.
Aubergines may contain large quantities of histamine. They cannot be eaten raw due to the potentially dangerous amounts of solanine they contain in that state.
In Suriname’s traditional medicine, the roots of the aubergine are used against internal haemorrhage and asthma, and the leaves and bark against dysentery.
Aubergine Allergy Test: Allergen Description
No allergens from aubergine have yet been characterised, although several IgE-binding proteins have been reported.
Aubergine Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
Aubergine is a member of the Nightshade family; it is closely related to the potato and the tomato. An extensive cross-reactivity among the different individual species of the genus could therefore be expected, as well as to a certain degree among members of the family Solanaceae.
Allergic reactions to aubergine in subjects with Parietaria pollen sensitisation have been reported.
A lipid transfer protein has been detected in aubergine, which may result in cross-reactivity with other lipid transfer protein-containing foods.
Cross reactivity with latex has also been demonstrated.
Aubergine Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Aubergine can induce symptoms of food allergy in sensitised individuals, however food allergy to ingesting the fruit of this plant is uncommon.
Some cases of allergy following ingestion of aubergine have been described, as follows:
A 23-year-old woman with itchiness and an unpleasant feeling while eating food prepared with aubergine. There was immediate rash, and facial oedema in about 20 minutes.
A 25-year-old man who developed itching within 15 minutes after eating any food prepared using aubergine. Within an hour, the rash became prominent, with itching of the throat and hoarseness.
An 18-year-old-girl developed itching in the throat and of the skin within 30 minutes of the ingestion of aubergine. Generalised uricaria with severe pruritis developed within 1 to 2 hours.
Aubergine fruit has induced IgE-mediated immediate-type hypersensitivity reactions, such as rhinorrhoea, urticaria, food allergy and asthma.
Anaphylaxis to aubergine in a Latex-allergic 27-year-old female doctor was reported. She experienced generalised itching, dyspnoea, dizziness, vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and rash over the whole body immediately after eating boiled aubergine.
Allergy to aubergine pollen has also been described. Immediate IgE-mediated hypersensitivity reactions (rhinorrhoea and asthma) were described in a 43-year-old man. He presented with rhinoconjunctivitis and a dry cough when working in a greenhouse where aubergines were cultivated.
Contact dermatitis due to Eggplant has been reported.
Aubergine is high in histamine, which may result in histamine reactions in susceptible individuals.