Internet Symposium on Food Allergens 3(1): 37-53 (2001)

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Allergen Data Collection:
Shrimps (Natantia)
Authors in alphabetical order [contact information]
Carolyn B.
Patrick S.C.
BESLER (Hamburg, Germany)
DAUL (Metairie, LA, USA)
LEUNG (Davis, CA, USA)


Among crustaceans, such as shrimp, crab, crawfish and lobster, shrimp is frequently identified as a cause of IgE mediated adverse reactions in food allergic individuals. According to different studies the prevalence of shrimp allergy can be estimated to be about 0.6 to 2.8% in food allergic individuals. Ingestion and occasionally inhalation of shrimp allergens can induce allergic reactions such as pruritus, urticaria, angio-edema, gastrointestinal symptoms, asthma, and life-threatening anaphylaxis.
For diagnosis of shrimp allergy a thorough clinical and occupational history is the initial evaluation step. No single test can be used for a definite diagnosis of shrimp allergy, while the combination of skin tests and shrimp-specific serum-IgE is highly predictive. Reactions could be confirmed by oral challenge procedures, when anaphylactic reactions are not expected.

Up to 13 IgE binding proteins have been detected in shrimp meat. The muscle protein tropomyosin (34-39 kDa) is the only major allergen identified in several shrimp species: Met e 1 (Metapenaeus ensis), Pen a 1 (Penaeus aztecus), Pen i 1 (Penaeus indicus), and Pen o 1 (Penaeus orientalis). Cross-reactive tropomyosins are found in invertebrates such as crustaceans (shrimp, lobster, crab, crawfish), mollusks (e.g. squid), arachnids (house dust mites), and insects (cockroaches). However in general IgE antibodies from crustaceae allergic individuals do not bind to tropomyosins from vertebrates (poultry, mammalians).

Most common edible shrimp species in Asia are Penaeus indicus, Penaeus monodon (black tiger shrimp), Penaeus orientalis and Metapenaeus ensis (greasyback shrimp), in North America Penaeus setifecus (white shrimp) and Penaeus aztecus (brown shrimp), and in Europe shrimps from the families Crangonoidea (Crangon crangon), Palaemonoidea (Leander adspersus), and Pandaloidea (e.g. Atlantic shrimp - Pandalus borealis). The so-called Gammarus shrimp (Gammaridae family) commonly used in pet fish food is not included in the present data collection.

The present data collection gives an overview of prevalence data, symptoms, and diagnostic features of shrimp allergy as well as molecular biological and allergenic properties of the major shrimp allergens in tabular form. The term "natantia" collectively describes the species of crustaceae that are swimmers such as shrimps and prawns (bigger shrimps). "Reptantia" describes the opposite, crustaceae which are walkers such as crabs, crawfish, and lobsters.
  Prevalence of Shrimp Allergy
Symptoms of Shrimp Allergy
Diagnostic Features of Shrimp Allergy
Composition of Shrimp
Allergens of Shrimp
    5.1 Sensitization to Shrimp Allergens
    5.2 Properties of Tropomyosins
    5.3 Properties of 39 kDa Allergen (Par f 1)
Isolation & Preparation
Stability of Shrimp Allergens
Allergen Sources
Food Allergen Labeling

The reference lists of the Allergen Data Collections are based mainly on searches on Medline and FSTA (Food Science & Technology Abstracts) databases up to the related dates of publication. The scientific rigor of the studies listed is variable and not subject to critique or evaluation by the authors or the editor of the Allergen Data Collections. The reader should be aware of considerable problems in comparing data from different studies (eg. patient cohorts, diagnostic performances, possible flaws in allergen preparations and methodologies for allergen characterization) and is encouraged to review the original publications.
The information provided by the Internet Symposium on Food Allergens is for educational, communication and information purposes only and is not intended to replace or constitute medical advice or treatments. Neither the authors nor the editorial board of the Internet Symposium on Food Allergens is/are responsible for any use which might be made of the information.

copyright © 2001 by matthias besler -  ONLINE PUBLISHER