Red Snapper Allergy Test
Latin name: Lutjanus campechanus
Source material: Whole fish
Common names: Northern red snapper
Red snapper is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
NB: Many fish sold as red snapper in the USA are not actually L. campechanus, but other species in the family. Substitution of these other, less costly, species for red snapper has been proven by genetic studies.
Red Snapper Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
The red snapper is anative to the western Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, inhabiting reef environments. It is related to the mangrove snapper, mutton snapper, lane snapper, and dog snapper. Red snapper are caught as food fish both recreationally and commercially, and is eaten worldwide, forming part of the local cuisine of a number of regions, particularly Vietnam, India, and the Caribbean islands.
The flesh is described as mildly sweet, flaky and faintly pink in color. Red snapper is commonly baked or grilled whole, but may also be filleted and pan fried, barbecued, poached or added to mixed fish dishes such as salads, stews or curries.
Red snapper is an excellent source of protein, potassium, selenium, and vitamin B12 and a very good source of vitamin B6, niacin, and phosphorous.
Red Snapper Allergy Test: Allergen Description
No specific allergens present in red snapper have been characterised to date, although a number of proteins have been identified.
Red Snapper 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 megrim within the order Pleuronectiformes can therefore be expected, which includes halibut, flounders, soles, turbot, and plaice.
Red Snapper Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Sensitisation to fish allergen is common. Fish, including red snapper, 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.
Acute pseudoterranovosis as a result of the larvae of the fish parasite Pseudoterranova decipiens may occur following ingestion of undercooked or raw red snapper.
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.
Red snapper and other reef fish may be contaminated by ciguatera toxin, particularly in the Caribbean Sea, Hawaii, and coastal Central America. The toxin can cause nausea, pain, cardiac, and neurological symptoms in humans when contaminated fish is ingested.
Fish allergy is sometimes confused with a reaction to histamine in spoiled fish.