Lime Allergy Test
Latin name: Citrus aurantifolia
Source material: Fresh fruit
Common names: Lime, Green lemon, Sour lemon
Synonyms: C. acida, C. lima, C. medica, Limonia aurantifolia
Lime Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Lime originated in the Indo-Malayan region, but is now cultivated extensively in tropical climates across the globe, most notably in Florida, USA. There are two main variants of lime- sweet and acidic. The latter is more popularly grown commercially. Limes have also been successfully crossbred with other citrus fruits to produce new variants.
Limes are available, if not common, throughout the industrialised world, and have many traditional uses in the developing world. Sweetened or unsweetened bottled lime juice, frozen lime juice, lime syrup and limeade are some of the more popular lime products, and are available in most supermarkets. The lime is used in mixed drinks (such as margaritas), as a marinade, garnish, and sauce, and in the famous Key lime pie.
Limes are often made into jam, jelly and marmalade, and they are sometimes pickled. The juice and the skin oil are used for flavouring processed foods.
The juice has been used in the process of dyeing leather, and as an ingredient in cosmetics. The dehydrated peel is fed to cattle. In India, the powdered dried peel and the sludge remaining after clarifying lime juice are employed for cleaning metal. The hand-pressed peel oil is utilised in the perfume industry. The juice, leaves and root bark are also used in a variety of homeopathic applications.
Lime Allergy Test: Allergen Description
No allergens from this plant have yet been characterised.
Lime Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
Extensive cross-reactivity among the different individual species of the genus Citrus could be expected although no studies have confirmed this to date.
Lime Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Lime may induce symptoms of food allergy in sensitised individuals, though this is not common. Allergic reactions are similar to those seen with other citrus fruit, and consist mainly of contact dermatitis and contact urticaria.
An instance has been reported of a bartender with hand dermatitis who developed allergic contact sensitivity to the skin of lemon, lime, and orange, but not to their juices.
In another instance a 25-year-old with periorbital oedema and rhinitis from lemon and other citrus fruits was described, who was prick-to-prick positive to peach, lemon, sweet lime, orange, banana, blueberry, tomato, grape and bell pepper.
In a third case, a 52-year-old woman presented with an eczematous rash at the side of her mouth and lips. She had been sucking the lime from her gin and tonic for up to 1 minute after finishing her drink.
A 6-year-old boy presented with marked, symmetric, painful erythema and oedema of both hands that rapidly developed into dramatic bullae covering the entire dorsum of the hands. The history revealed that the hands had been bathed in lime juice for a prolonged period during the preparation of limeade. This resulted in phytophotodermatitis.
In a group of Thai patients with contact dermatitis, patch-test reactions to extracts of fragrance raw materials, traditionally used in Indonesian cosmetics, were evaluated. Positive reactions to extracts of Citrus aurantifolia were observed.
Sensitisation to pollen from the lime tree may occur.