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Allergy. 2016 May;71(5):720-3. doi: 10.1111/all.12836. Epub 2016 Feb 8.

Fish collagen is an important panallergen in the Japanese population.

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Department of Marine Biosciences, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan.
Course of Safety Management in Food Supply Chain, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan.
Chemistry Division, Kanagawa Prefectural Institute of Public Health, Chigasaki-shi, Kanagawa, Japan.
Department of Dermatology, National Defense Medical College, Tokorozawa-shi, Saitama, Japan.
Department of Dermatology, Shinshu University Hospital, Matsumoto-shi, Nagano, Japan.
Department of Dermatology, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa, Japan.


Collagen was identified as a fish allergen in early 2000s. Although its allergenic potential has been suggested to be low, risks associated with collagen as a fish allergen have not been evaluated to a greater extent. In this study, we aimed to clarify the importance of collagen as a fish allergen. Our results showed that 50% of Japanese patients with fish allergy had immunoglobulin E (IgE) against mackerel collagen, whereas 44% had IgE against mackerel parvalbumin. IgE inhibition assay revealed high cross-reactivity of mackerel collagen to 22 fish species (inhibition rates: 87-98%). Furthermore, a recently developed allergy test demonstrated that collagen triggered IgE cross-linking on mast cells. These data indicate that fish collagen is an important and very common panallergen in fish consumed in Japan. The high rate of individuals' collagen allergy may be attributable to the traditional Japanese custom of raw fish consumption.


collagen; cross-reactivity; immunoglobulin E; mast cell; parvalbumin

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