Beef Allergy Test
Latin name: Bos spp.
Source material: Raw meat (thick flank)
Common names: Beef, Veal, Oxtail, Tripe, Tongue
Beef is a food which may uncommonly result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Beef Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Beef is the culinary term describing meat from cattle (cows, heifers or steers). Humans are thought to have eaten beef since the prehistoric era. The meat provides a source of high-quality protein as well as fat and various nutrients.
Beef can be divided into a variety of cuts, such as roasts, short ribs or steak (filet mignon, sirloin steak, rump steak, rib steak, rib eye steak, hanger steak). Beef trimmings are often further processed, either through grinding or mincing, to produce ground beef, sausages, or corned beef. Strips of beef can be air dried to produce beef jerky.
Beef is generally aged before consumption, which helps to tenderise the meat and promotes the evaporation of water content. Common methods of cooking include grilling (used mainly for steaks), roasting (for large joints), barbecuing, stewing and boiling. It is also served raw in dishes such as steak tartare, beef sashimi or carpaccio of beef.
As well as the skeletal muscle, other parts of the animal which are suitable for human consumption include the tail, liver, tongue, tripe from the reticulum or rumen, glands (particularly the pancreas and thymus, referred to as sweetbread), the heart, testicles, and in some cases the brain (although this is increasingly rarely used due to concerns about BSE, or mad cow disease).
After pork and poultry, beef is the most widely consumed meat in the world, accounting for about a quarter of global meat consumption. The largest consumers are the United States, China and Brazil.
Beef Allergy Test: Allergen Description
Beef contains BSA and gamma-globulin, which are known heat-labile fractions in cow’s milk, and differing clinical response to raw and well-cooked beef is shown in some cow’s millk allergic patients.
Beef Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
As beef has been shown to contain a number of allergens which are also common to cow’s dander and cow’s milk, cross reactivity with cow’s milk, cow’s whey and associated products could be expected.
Beef Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Allergy to beef is not very common and beef can often be tolerated by cow’s milk-allergic patients.
In one study which evaluated 132 children with atopic dermatitis, 15 had positive challenge to milk, but only two to beef. Beef does contain BSA and gamma globulin, which also occur in cow’s milk, and it is possible that there might be additional unique heat-labile fractions in beef which may explain the differing clinical responses to raw and well-cooked beef in some milk-allergic patients.
In another case, IgE antibodies to bovine serum albumin were found in a man with eosinophilic gastroenteritis and positive skin tests for calf, pig and lamb sera.
Another study showed that four out of six children sensitized by beef had albumin-specific IgE antibodies.
There is some evidence that immunization programs with bacterial vaccines containing bovine serum albumin may potentially induce beef allergy in some individuals.
Several allergens present in cow dander and hair are also found in beef and milk.