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Am J Ind Med. 2015 Jul;58(7):791-4. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22472. Epub 2015 May 5.

Paprika rhinoconjunctivitis case reveals new occupational Capsicum allergens.

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Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland.
Oulu University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.


No allergens related to paprika or cayenne respiratory allergy have been identified thus far. We describe a previously healthy 28-year woman who developed work-related rhinoconjunctivitis after four years of kebab-restaurant work. The allergy was studied using skin prick tests, serum specific IgE and nasal provocation tests. Specific IgE protein reactions were studied by Western blot analysis. Paprika, cayenne and curry allergens were identified from the strongest immunoblot bands using tandem mass spectrometry. A positive skin prick test, high specific IgE and positive nasal provocation test confirmed occupational rhinoconjunctivitis from Capsicum spices. Defensin J1 and Vicilin were identified as major paprika and cayenne allergens in this case. Vicilin was detected also from the curry ingredients. Two new occupational respiratory allergens from the Capsicum species were identified. These differ from previously reported bell pepper allergens. We emphasize that substantial spice handling at work poses an allergy risk.


exposure; respiratory; restaurant; rhinoconjunctivitis; spice

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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