Halibut Allergy Test



Halibut Allergy Test

Code: f303
Latin name: Hippoglossus hippoglossus
Source material: Fish muscle
Family: Pleuronectidae
Common names: Atlantic halibut, Pacific halibut
Synonyms: Hippoglossus stenolepis

Halibut is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.

NB: Other unrelated species of flatfish are also occasionally referred to as halibuts.

Halibut Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure

Halibut is the name for two species of flatfish in the genus Hippoglossus. It is closely related to the flounders. Halibut lives in both the Atlantic (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) and Pacific (Hippoglossus stenolepis) oceans, and is the largest species of flatfish in the world, with some individuals growing to over 2 metres in length. Historically an important food source for the indigenous peoples of North America, halibut is now consumed worldwide.

Halibut are sold whole or in fillets, and are most commonly boiled, deep-fried or grilled while fresh. It can be smoked, although due to the low fat content of the fish this is not as simple a process as with salmon or mackerel. The flesh is described as dense and firm in texture.

Halibut is an excellent source of protein and omega–3 fatty acids, and also contains high levels of selenium, niacin, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamins B12 and B6.

Atlantic halibut has been known to have higher levels of toxins such as mercury, making it not suitable for human consumption, according to sustainable seafood advisory lists. The same concerns do not apply to Pacific halibut.

Halibut Allergy Test: Allergen Description

No specific allergens present in halibut have been characterised, although a number of proteins have been identified.

Halibut Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity

Species within groups of fish, like Gadiformes (examples: codfish and hake) and Scombroid fishes (examples: mackerel and tuna) seem to share allergenic components. The overlap of allergen specificity between the groups seems to be moderate or even small.

Cross-reactivity to halibut within the order Pleuronectiformes can therefore be expected, which includes flounders, soles, turbot, and plaice.

Halibut Allergy Test: Clinical Experience

Skin-sensitivity, anaphylaxis and other symptoms related to food allergy have been reported.

Repeated episodes of food-allergic symptoms and anaphylaxis after eating halibut were reported in an early study.

Sensitisation to fish allergen is common. Fish, including halibut, is a potential cause of food allergy and atopic dermatitis.

Immediate allergic reactions may follow ingestion of even minute amounts of fish.

Symptoms can include oral allergy syndrome, generalised urticaria, facial angioedema and anaphylaxis.

Because patients react to both cooked and raw fish, it is assumed the allergens are heat-resistant. However, more recent studies indicate that patients may react differently to processed food and that allergic reactions may be species-specific.

It has been reported that some fish allergic persons can exhibit allergic symptoms due to the steam (airborne allergens) from cooking fish.

Other reactions

Anisakiasis, or herring worm disease, is a parasitic disease caused by nematodes (worms) that attach to the wall of the esophagus, stomach, or intestine of the halibut.

Symptoms can include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal distention, diarrhea, blood and mucus in stool, and mild fever. Allergic reactions with rash and itching, and infrequently, anaphylaxis, can also occur.

Fish allergy is sometimes confused with a reaction to histamine in spoiled fish.