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Prevalence of sensitization to lipid transfer proteins and profilins in a population of 430 patients in the south of Madrid.

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Unidad Alergia, Hospital de Fuenlabrada, Madrid, Spain.



Lipid transfer proteins (LTPs) and profilins are the most important panallergens in the management of patients who are allergic to pollen and plant food in our area. LTPs are highly stable proteins that can induce systemic symptoms after ingestion. Profilins are labile proteins that are present in pollens and vegetables. Considered markers of several types of pollen sensitization, they are responsible for cross-reactivity between pollens and vegetables. The objective of this study was to assess the frequency of sensitization to LTP and profilin using skin prick tests (SPTs) in patients referred to our allergy unit for any complaint (not only pollen and plant food allergy).


The study sample comprised 430 consecutive patients who were evaluated using their medical history and SPTs with pollen, date palm profilin, and peach extract enriched in Pru p 3 (30 g/mL) as an LTP marker.


We found that 52 (12.1%) patients were sensitized to profilin and 53 (12.3%) to LTP. Pollen allergy was diagnosed in 53% and plant food allergy in 11%. In the LTP-sensitized group and the profilin-sensitized group, 37.7% and 34.6% of the patients had plant food allergy, respectively. Thirty-three patients (62.3%) were sensitized to LTP but had no symptoms after eating vegetables.


To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to analyze the real rate of sensitization to profilin and LTP in a population sensitized to allergens other than pollens and plant foods. Twelve percent of patients were sensitized to both profilin and LTP. A large proportion of LTP-sensitized patients had no symptoms at the time of the study.

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