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Clin Transl Allergy. 2019 Jun 28;9:32. doi: 10.1186/s13601-019-0271-x. eCollection 2019.

Sesame oleosins are minor allergens.

Author information

1Laboratory of Translational Immunology, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
2Department of Dermatology and Allergology, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
EUROIMMUN AG, Lübeck, Germany.



In daily practice, one-third of sesame allergic patients, confirmed by clinical history or food challenge, do not show any detectable specific IgE using current diagnostics. Currently used sesame extracts are water-based and therefore lacking hydrophobic proteins like oleosins. Oleosins, the stabilizer of lipid droplets in plants, are described as allergens in sesame, peanut and hazelnut. In this study, we examine the role of oleosins in sesame allergy and their potential cross-reactivity between sesame and (pea)nuts.


Specific IgE and IgG sensitisation to native and heterologously expressed sesame components and oleosins from other nuts, free of seed storage proteins, was assessed by line blot and sera from 17 sesame allergic patients without detectable specific IgE sensitisation to sesame, and compared to 18 sesame allergic and 13 tolerant patients with specific IgE sensitisation to sesame.


Sesame allergic patients without sensitisation showed no specific IgE to the tested sesame oleosins or components. Low levels of specific IgE to sesame oleosins were detected in 17% of sesame allergic and 15% of tolerant patients with sIgE sensitisation. Oleosins were recognised by serum IgG from multiple patients confirming immune reactivity and excluding technical issues leading to lack of specific IgE-binding to oleosins.


Sesame oleosins are minor allergens and appear to have no additonal value in diagnosing sesame allergy in adults based on sIgE and sIgG detection. There is a high need for additional diagnostic tools in those patients to minimize the number of required food challenges.


Diagnostics; Food allergy; IgE hypersensitivity3 oleosins; Sesame

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interestsB. Brix, M. Rossnagel and W. Suer are employees of EUROIMMUN. The research position of A. Ehlers is partially funded by EUROIMMUN. Other authors have no competing interests to declare.

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