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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1999 Jul;104(1):202-4.

Common allergens in avian meats.

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Department of Internal Medicine (Allergy Division), Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA, USA.



Reports of allergy to bird meats are uncommon, and most have been in patients with "bird-egg syndrome."


We sought to evaluate 3 patients who reported allergic reactions to several avian meats, but who denied allergic reactions to eating eggs. The patients required yellow fever vaccine for entry into the military.


Patients were skin tested with commercial extracts of chicken, turkey, and egg, as well as with crude extracts made from dove and quail meat, and with yellow fever vaccine. Immunoblots for IgE antibody were performed by using the same materials used for skin testing plus extracts of duck and goose meat.


Skin tests were positive in all 3 patients to chicken, turkey, dove, quail, and yellow fever vaccine and negative to egg. This included some positive skin test responses to bird meats the patients denied ever having eaten. The vaccine was administered in graded doses. Immunoblots revealed IgE binding to several proteins of similar molecular weights in all of the avian meats but not to egg or yellow fever vaccine. Again, this included IgE antibody to some bird meats the patients denied ever having eaten.


Patients allergic to one bird meat may be allergic to others, including game birds, probably because of cross-reacting allergens. Such patients may have to exercise caution even when eating bird meats they have not previously ingested. The relationship of this allergy to yellow fever vaccine, if any, remains to be determined.

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