Patients with anaphylaxis to pea can have peanut allergy caused by cross-reactive IgE to vicilin (Ara h 1)

M. Wensing, A.C. Knulst, S.R. Piersma, F.E. O'Kane, E.F. Knol, S.J. Koppelman

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87 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Serologic cross-reactivity among legumes has been described; however, it is rarely clinically significant. In this study 3 patients with a history of anaphylaxis to pea are described who subsequently had symptoms after ingestion of peanut. Objective: We investigated whether the peanut-related symptoms were due to cross-reactivity between pea and peanut proteins. Methods: Peanut-related symptoms were documented according to case history or double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge results. Skin prick tests were performed, and specific IgE levels were determined for pea and peanut with the CAP system FEIA. IgE-binding proteins in pea and peanut were identified by using immunoblot analysis. Cross-reactivity was studied by means of immunoblot and ELISA inhibition studies with whole extracts and purified allergens. Results: Peanut-related symptoms consisted of oral symptoms in all patients, with additional urticaria and dyspnea or angioedema in 2 patients. All patients had a positive skin prick test response and an increased IgE level to pea and peanut. Immunoblotting revealed strong IgE binding to mainly vicilin in pea extract and exclusively to Ara h 1 in crude peanut extract. Immunoblot and ELISA inhibition studies with crude extracts, as well as purified proteins, showed that IgE binding to peanut could be inhibited by pea but not or only partially the other way around. Conclusion: Clinically relevant cross-reactivity between pea and peanut does occur. Vicilin homologues in pea and peanut (Ara h 1) are the molecular basis for this cross-reactivity
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-424
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • legume botanical family
  • pisum-sativum-l
  • food hypersensitivity
  • atopic-dermatitis
  • allergenicity
  • children
  • identification
  • proteins
  • challenges
  • binding


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