Pea Allergy Test
Latin name: Pisum sativum
Source material: Dried peas
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Common names: Pea, Common pea, Garden pea, Greenpea, Green pea, Dry pea, Snow pea, Sugar snap pea
Synonyms: P. humile
Pea is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Pea Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Peas are thought to have originated in the south west of Asia, but today are found across the globe. The pea plant is an annual climbing plant, growing up to 2m in height and producing pods with multiple small, wrinkled seeds.
Several varieties of pea are cultivated for food, some which are eaten in the pod such as sugar snap peas, and other which are shelled to be eaten fresh, or preserved by drying or freezing.
Peas provide high levels of carbohydrate and fibre, are low in fat, and represent an economical source of protein. They can be cooked alone as a vegetable or added to other dishes. They can also be sprouted and added to salads, soups, etc. The mature seed may be dried and used whole or split (in which form it is often served as dhal), or ground into a powder and then used to enrich the protein content of flour.
Medicinally, peas are reported to be contraceptive, fungistatic and spermacidal. The dried and powdered seed has also historically been used as a poultice for skin complaints such as acne.
Pea Allergy Test: Allergen Description
Several allergens present in peas have been characterised, among them a vicilin-like globulin, a convicilin, an isoflavone reductase and a profilin.
Immature peas have low allergenicity compared to ripe peas, however, all levels of maturation of pea seeds show some degree of allergenicity.
Pea allergens, as with many legumes, have a natural resistance to thermal, chemical, and, in some respects, proteolytic denaturation.
Pea Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
An extensive cross-reactivity among the different individual species of the genus could be expected but in fact is not seen frequently.
Cross-allergenicity was demonstrated to be most marked among the extracts of peanut, garden pea, chick pea, and soybean, and between pea and soybean.
Significant allergenic cross-reactivity exists among lentil, chick pea and pea in the Mediterranean area, where these legumes are widely consumed.
An association between grass pollinosis and sensitisation to tomato, potato, pea, peanut, watermelon, melon, apple, orange and kiwi has been reported.
Pea Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Legumes are among the most common foods causing allergic reactions in children and adults.
Peas may commonly induce symptoms of food allergy in sensitised individuals, with symptoms including atopic dermatitis, asthma, rhinitis, angioedema, dermatitis, oral pruritis, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea.
In a study of 99 children with atopic dermatitis, egg was the most common food allergen in children under 1 year of age. After that age, apple, carrot, pea, and soybean elicited positive reactions as frequently as egg.
Anaphylaxis to pea has been reported in 3 patients who subsequently had symptoms after ingestion of peanut. Although these patients were also affected by peanut, clinically relevant cross-reactivity between pea and peanut did occur.
In common with certain other legumes, pea has resulted in asthma following exposure to the cooking vapours. Occupational asthma has also been reported following exposure to pea flour.