Anaphylaxis after hamster bites – identification of a novel allergen

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Abstract

Background

Hamsters are popular household pets and anaphylaxis after their bites have described. However, the putative allergen has not been identified.

Objective

This study was conducted to identify the allergen causing dwarf hamster (Phodopus sungoris) bite-induced anaphylaxis.

Methods

Two children with hamster bite-induced anaphylaxis were enrolled. They both had negative results to skin testing and specific IgE to hamster epithelium. However, they were both allergic to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Der p). Identification of the putative IgE-binding allergens from the hamster saliva was performed using immunoblot analysis.

Results

A specific IgE-binding component at 21 kD in the hamster saliva was identified. ELISA inhibition tests showed partial inhibition with Der p.

Conclusions

The putative allergen from the hamster saliva causing dwarf hamster-induced anaphylaxis was identified. Possible cross-reactivity with Der p was demonstrated. Further studies will be needed to identify the exact nature and function of this allergen.

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