Avocado Allergy Test
Latin name: Persea americana
Common names: Avocado, Alligator pear, Midshipman’s butter, Vegetable butter, Butter pear
Avocado is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Avocado Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Avocados originated in Central and South America, and today leading producers include the larger islands of the Caribbean, California, New Zealand, the Philippines, Australia, South Africa and several Mediterranean countries.
The fruit is pear-shaped, oval, or nearly round, and up to 33 cm long and 15 cm wide. The skin varies from yellow-green to almost black according to which variety the fruit belongs to. Generally, the flesh is pale to rich yellow, buttery, and bland or nutlike in flavour.
There are a number of varieties of avocado, but the most commonly consumed are the smooth green Strong avocado and the smaller, dark green and wrinkled Hass avocado.
Avocados can be diced into salads, added to soups, stews, chili or omelettes, stuffed or garnished, or mashed to make guacamole, sandwich spreads or dressings.
The fruit are a good source of vitamins and minerals, having twice the potassium content of bananas. Avocados are high in monosaturates. The oil content is second only to that of olives among fruits, and sometimes greater.
Clinical studies in humans have shown that Avocado oil can reduce blood cholesterol.
The oil is used as hair-dressing and as an ingredient in facial creams, hand lotions and fine soap. It is said to filter out the tanning rays of the sun, and is similar to lanolin in its penetrating and skin-softening action. Avocado oil may also be added to cosmetics.
Avocado Allergy Test: Allergen Description
Several allergens present in avocado have been characterised, including a class 1 chitinase, a profilin and hevein.
Avocado Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
An extensive cross-reactivity among the different individual species of the genus could be expected but has not been documented yet.
Considerable immunologic cross-reactivity between natural rubber latex and avocado has been reported. Almost 50% of latex-sensitised children have food allergies, mostly to banana, kiwi and avocado.
A number of studies have reported cross-reactivity between latex and a variety of foods, including chestnut, banana, avocado, passion fruit, celery, potato, tomato, kiwi and peach.
Avocado contains a class I chitinase, a defense-related plant protein, and this panallergen results in extensive cross-reactivity with foods from different food families, including green bean.
Hevein has been implicated in the cross-reactivity seen between avocado, custard apple and aubergine.
Avocado Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Avocado may commonly induce symptoms of food allergy in sensitised individuals, although the majority of reports describing allergy to avocado do so in the context of cross-reactivity to latex allergy.
Symptoms of avocado allergy include local mouth irritation, angioedema, urticaria, abdominal pain, asthma, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, rhinoconjunctivitis, and anaphylaxis. Individuals experiencing itching in the mouth, diarrhoea, and/or swelling of the lips have been described. Oral allergy syndrome has also been reported.
In a study of 17 patients with immediate hypersensitivity to Avocado, systemic anaphylaxis occurred in 7, angioedema/urticaria in 6, vomiting in 2, asthma in 1, and rhinoconjunctivitis in 1.
Reaction to Avocado oil in sunscreen has been documented.
Ingesting large amounts of Avocado may interfere with warfarin’s anti-clotting effects.
Vasoactive amines may result in allergy-like reactions.