Jack Mackerel/Scad Allergy Test
Latin name: Trachurus japonicus
Source material: Fish muscle
Common names: Japanese scad, Horse mackerel, Cigar fish, Saurel, Round robin
Jack mackerel or scad is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
NB: The name horse mackerel is also sometimes applied to certain species of tuna and bonito.
Jack Mackerel/Scad Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Despite its name, the jack mackerel is not a true mackerel, but a jack. There are several extant species, some of which are also referred to as horse mackerel. The jack mackerel inhabits coastal areas of Japan, except for Okinawa Island. They are similar in size and appearance to the yellowtail horse mackerel which is found around New Zealand and Australia.
In Japan, the jack mackerel is an important food fish and is caught using trawls, purse seines, traps and longlines. It is most often served deep fried or grilled, or raw as sushi or sashimi. Jack mackerel is also a popular food fish in Korea, where it is grilled, fried, or made into a soup known as gagjaegi-gug. It is sold fresh, frozen or canned, and is also used in the production of fishmeal.
Jack mackerel is a good source of protein and is rich in vitamins and minerals such as selenium and niacin.
Jack Mackerel/Scad Allergy Test: Allergen Description
No specific allergens present in jack mackerel/scad have been characterised, although a number of proteins have been identified.
Jack Mackerel/Scad 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 jack mackerel within the order Perciformes can therefore be expected, which includes perch, darters, grouper and sea bass.
Jack Mackerel/Scad Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
IgE antibodies to Jack mackerel have been measured in asthmatic adults, atopic dermatitis patients, and food-allergic children.
Sensitisation to fish allergen is common. Fish, including jack mackerel , 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.
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 scad.
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.