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Allergy Asthma Proc. 2018 Sep 1;39(5):377-383. doi: 10.2500/aap.2018.39.4148.

Improved diagnostic clarity in shrimp allergic non-dust-mite sensitized patients.

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From the Section of Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics, Texas Children's Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.
Dan L. Duncan Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas.



Allergen specific immunoglobulin E (sIgE) levels predictive of shrimp allergy have not been identified, but these may be helpful in identifying patients at risk for shrimp-induced allergic reactions.


This study sought to identify component resolved diagnostic tests useful for diagnosis of shrimp allergy in patients with or without house-dust mite (HDM) sensitization to the major allergen cysteine protease (Der p 1).


Patients with positive skin-prick test (SPT) results and/or sIgE values were recruited. Shrimp allergy was classified by oral food challenge (OFC) or by a clear history of anaphylaxis after shrimp ingestion. Patients with shrimp allergy and patients who were tolerant were further classified based on HDM sensitivity (Der p 1 > 0.35 kUA/L). Testing for sIgE to total shrimp, and shrimp and HDM components was performed. The Fisher exact test, Wilcoxon sum rank test, and receiver operating characteristics analyses were used to compare sIgE levels in patients with allergy and patients who were tolerant.


Of 79 patients recruited, 12 patients with shrimp allergy (7 with positive OFC results and 5 with a history of anaphylaxis) and 18 patients who were shrimp tolerant were enrolled. Of the patients not HDM sensitized, sIgE levels to shrimp (10.5 kUA/L, p = 0.012) and Der p 10 (4.09 kUA/L, p = 0.035) were higher in patients with shrimp allergy. Shrimp sIgE of ≥3.55 kUA/L had 100% diagnostic sensitivity and 85.7% specificity (receiver operating characteristic 0.94 [0.81, 1.0] 95% CI) and Der p 10 sIgE levels of ≥3.98 kUA/L had a diagnostic sensitivity of 80% and specificity of 100% (receiver operating characteristic 0.86 [0.57, 1.0] 95% CI) for prediction of clinical reactivity.


HDM sensitization influences shrimp and HDM component sIgE levels and, consequently, their diagnostic accuracy in shrimp allergy. In our series, in the patients who were non-HDM sensitized, a shrimp sIgE level of >3.55 kUA/L showed 100% sensitivity and, Der p 10 sIgE of >3.98 kUA/L showed 100% specificity for the diagnosis of shrimp allergy. These levels may not be applicable to every patient and, therefore, may not obviate the need for OFC.

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