Rabbit Allergy Test
Latin name: Oryctolagus spp.
Source material: Raw meat
Common names: Rabbit, Coney
Rabbit is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Rabbit Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Rabbits are found on every continent except for Antarctica, and have been hunted by humans for their meat since ancient times, often via trapping or with trained animals such as dogs or ferrets. Today most rabbit meat is produced from farmed animals, with the global consumption of rabbit meat estimated at around 2 million tons. The meat is high in protein and especially low in fat.
The largest consumers of rabbit meat per capita are Malta, Italy, and Cyprus and the largest producers are China, Russia, Italy, France, and Spain. Rabbit was a popular food in Australia prior to the intentional introduction of the myxomatosis virus to control the huge growth in feral populations.
In the United Kingdom, rabbit is commonly found in butchers shop or at market stalls, and is usually sold as whole carcasses or prepared for cooking. Fresh and frozen rabbit meat is also available in some supermarkets, although this is increasingly less common as consumption declines.
Rabbit is a popular meat in Moroccan cuisine, featuring in the traditional tagine (a slow cooked stew flavoured with raisins and almonds). In China, rabbit is commonly used in Sichuan cooking, in a range of dishes including stewed rabbit, spicy diced rabbit, BBQ-style rabbit, and even spicy rabbit heads.
Rabbit Allergy Test: Allergen Description
No specific allergens present in rabbit have been fully characterised to date, although a number of proteins have been identified including a serum albumin.
Rabbit Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
In a study of 12 children who had had clinical reactions after ingestion of bovine meat, studies showed that serum albumin seems to be the main or one of the most important antigens of bovine meat. This could suggest that other animal species such as rabbit should be considered in the diet of atopic children.
The high degree of structural similarity between albumins of different animals suggest that patients sensitized by one species are likely to react to several meats and epithelia. It should be noted, though, that exceptions occur.
Rabbit Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Anaphylaxis to rabbit serum protein has been reported. A research physician accidently received a minor wound from a needle that had been previously used in rabbit tissue and within 15 minutes a serious anaphylactic reaction started.
Although relatively infrequent, meat allergy can be a serious problem for children both because it is generally associated with intolerance to other protein sources and because of the suggested role of meat in stimulating the gastrointestinal development during weaning
An extremely rare infection associated with rabbits-as-food is tularemia (also known as rabbit fever), which may be contracted from an infected rabbit. Due to the potential for inhaling the bacteria during the skinning process, hunters or butchers are at higher risk of contracting tularemia.