Oat Allergy Test



Oat Allergy Test

Code: f7
Latin name: Avena sativa
Source material: Untreated planting seeds
Family: Graminae (Poaceae)
Common names: Oats, Oat, Oatmeal, Oat groats

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

Oat Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure

Oats are a staple cereal crop which originated in Asia from a wild ancestor but are now grown commercially around the world. The major growing areas are the USA, southern Canada, the USSR and Europe, particularly near the Mediterranean.

Oats are used for both human food and animal fodder, as well as being important in the production of straw. Extracts from oats have a variety of applications in industrial processes.

Once harvested, oats are processed either as whole grains (with only the husks removed), as oatmeal (when cut or ground) or as rolled oats(when sliced, steamed and rolled flat).

They are the most nutrient rich of the commonly grown cereals, high in vitamin B-1 and containing vitamins B-2 and E.

They are well known as the basis for porridge, a sustaining dish of cooked oatmeal, however they have a multitude of other uses. The seed can be sprouted and served in salads. The grain can be ground into flour and used in making biscuits, sourdough, etc. Due to the low level of gluten present, oat flour is not particularly suited to making bread.

Oat flour inhibits rancidity and, as an additive, increases the length of shelf-stability of fatty foods such as vegetable oils.

Edible oil is obtained from the seed and used in the manufacture of breakfast cereals.

Oats are also often used in cosmetics, creams and skin cleansers.

Oat Allergy Test: Allergen Description

No allergens present in oats have yet been characterised.

Oats have been shown to contain the panallergen profilin, but at very low levels compared to other foods.

Oat Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity

An extensive cross-reactivity among the different individual species of the genus could be expected, and cross-antigenicity has been shown to exist between the different cereal grains: rye, wheat, triticale, barley, oat, maize and rice.

Oat Allergy Test: Clinical Experience

Oats may uncommonly induce symptoms of food allergy in sensitised individuals. Symptoms may include angioedema, urticaria, atopic dermatitis, asthma, rhinitis, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

On oral provocation studies in a group of children with cereal allergy, 18 exhibited a positive response to wheat, 3 to rye, 1 to barley, and 1 to oats. Symptoms involved the skin and the gastrointestinal and oropharyngeal regions.

Oats may be a more relevant allergen in children with atopic dermatitis. In a study of 34 children with this condition, 33 were SPT positive to wheat and 18 to oats.

Allergy to oats may also result from occupational exposure, in particular in animal, bakery and mill workers. Baker’s asthma has also been reported.

Cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, fever, stuffy nose, and skin itching/rash on exposure to grain dust have been documented. Whether these symptoms result from antibody response or physical irritation has not been fully elucidated.

Other reactions

Oats were previously implicated as a cereal affecting individuals with coeliac disease.

Recent studies have shown that the regular consumption of moderate amounts of oats is safe and well tolerated by adults with coeliac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis – presuming of course that the oats have not been cross contaminated with a gluten containing food such as wheat.