Protein Links Shrimp and Roach Allergies

in Fish & Shellfish
Published: November 21, 2011

Inner-city kids who live in homes where there are cockroaches have significantly higher levels of the Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody that causes shrimp allergy, according to a study published in the October 2011 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Tropomyosin, the allergenic protein in shrimp, is also found in dust mites, cockroaches and other insects. The goal of this study was to determine whether there was a strong correlation among shrimp, cockroach and dust mite IgE levels.

Researchers at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine examined blood samples of children with asthma from seven inner-city areas across the United States.

The children who had a high exposure to cockroaches at home had significantly higher levels of shrimp IgE than children who had low exposure to cockroaches. While the children’s reactivity to shellfish wasn’t tested, the heightened IgE levels indicate susceptibility to shrimp allergy.

However, there was not a high correlation between dust mite exposure and shrimp IgE levels.

Read more: Allergy to Peanut, Milk and Shellfish the Most Common in American Kids