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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001 Apr;107(4):718-23.

Allergy caused by ingestion of persimmon (Diospyros kaki): detection of specific IgE and cross-reactivity to profilin and carbohydrate determinants.

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Allergy Unit, Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Zürich, Gloriastr 31, 8091 Zürich, Switzerland.



Allergy to persimmon (Diospyros kaki) is very rare and not yet confirmed by means of double-blind, placebo-controlled, food-challenge (DBPCFC). Thus far, specific IgE to this fruit and cross-reactivity to pollen and other foods has not been determined.


The objective was to confirm allergy to persimmon in 3 patients with an according personal history and to characterize allergens and cross-reactivity of specific IgE antibodies to pollen and food allergens. One patient reacted with pruritus, penis edema, urticaria, and asthma; the second reacted with nausea and vomitus; and the third reacted with rhinoconjunctivitis, asthma, and stomachache after ingestion of persimmon.


Patients underwent skin prick testing with routine allergens, latex, persimmon, and other foods. Allergy to persimmon was confirmed by means of a DBPCFC. Specific serum IgE levels were measured with CAP-FEIA and the enzyme allergosorbent test (EAST) method. EAST and immunoblot inhibitions were carried out with persimmon; birch, grass, and ragweed pollen; latex; and N-glycans as inhibitors.


All patients had positive skin test responses, DBPCFC and specific IgE assays to persimmon. Blot and EAST inhibition assays revealed IgE to cross-reactive profilin in one patient and IgE to cross-reacting carbohydrate determinants in all patients.


This is the first report on 3 cases of allergy to persimmon verified by means of DBPCFC and detection of specific IgE. The sensitization is due to cross-reactive profilin and carbohydrate determinants.

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