AllerTool: a web server for predicting allergenicity and allergic cross-reactivity in proteins

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Abstract

Summary

Assessment of potential allergenicity and patterns of cross-reactivity is necessary whenever novel proteins are introduced into human food chain. Current bioinformatic methods in allergology focus mainly on the prediction of allergenic proteins, with no information on cross-reactivity patterns among known allergens. In this study, we present AllerTool, a web server with essential tools for the assessment of predicted as well as published cross-reactivity patterns of allergens. The analysis tools include graphical representation of allergen cross-reactivity information; a local sequence comparison tool that displays information of known cross-reactive allergens; a sequence similarity search tool for assessment of cross-reactivity in accordance to FAO/WHO Codex alimentarius guidelines; and a method based on support vector machine (SVM). A 10-fold cross-validation results showed that the area under the receiver operating curve (AROC) of SVM models is 0.90 with 86.00% sensitivity (SE) at specificity (SP) of 86.00%.

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