Sensitization to king scallop (Pectin maximus) and queen scallop (Chlamys opercularis) proteins

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ObjectiveTo report a case of occupational asthma and urticaria due to the queen scallop (Chlamys opercularis) and king scallop (Pectin maximus).BackgroundA 40-year-old female worked in a shellfish-processing plant, handling king and queen scallops for 5 years. At the time of investigation, she described a 2-year history of work-related respiratory symptoms.MethodsSerial peak expiratory flow rate readings were recorded and an OASYS study completed. A workplace visit was undertaken and specific immunoglobulin (IgE) radioallergosorbent (RAST) testing of scallop extracts was performed.ResultsThe OASYS study was consistent with occupational asthma. RAST testing demonstrated evidence of specific sensitization (IgE) to queen and king scallop. There was also some cross-reactivity observed with other shellfish (prawns and crabs).ConclusionWorkers exposed to aerosols from scallop species are at risk of occupational asthma and require effective respiratory health surveillance.

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