Eel

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Code: f264
Latin name: Anguilla anguilla
Source material: Whole fish
Family: Engraulidae
Studies indicate common allergenic components in eel and cod.

Allergen Exposure

Cooked or fried, smoked or jellied, in various dishes

Potential Cross-Reactivity

Species within groups of fish, like Gadiformes (examples: codfish and hake) and Scombroid fishes (examples: mackerel and tuna) seem to share allergenic components. The overlap of allergen specificity between the groups seems to be moderate or even small.
Eel and cod seem to share some allergenic components.

Clinical Experience

IgE-mediated reactions
Specific IgE antibodies to eel have been demonstrated in patient groups with atopic dermatitis and/or respiratory symptoms.
 
This snake-like fish with a smooth, slimy skin is popular in Europe and the Far East, particularly in Japan. In the last two decades there has been a noticeable increase in demand. The Japanese pioneered eel culture more than 150 years ago. Eels are disting-uished by several characteristics: color, dorsal fin length, size, head shape, habitat and distribution. The amazing life cycle begins when these catadromous fish first spawn at sea but then spend most of their lives in inland waters. The fish is rich in vitamins A, E and calcium. They are eaten fresh, smoked and jellied.
 
Clinical experience
de Martino et al (1) found more than half of the cod-sensitive children to have IgE antibodies to eel.
 
Cod-specific IgE antibody was partially inhibited by eel, indicating the presence of some common compo-nent in addition to species-specific allergens. In studies using Pharmacia CAP System™, IgE antibodies to eel were found in groups of adults and children having food allergy with atopic dermatitis and/or respiratory allergies (2-4).

References

  1. de Martino, M; Novembre, E; Galli, L; de Marco, A; Botarelli, P; Marano, E; Vierucci, A. Allergy to different fish species in cod-allergic children: In vivo and in vitro studies. J Allergy Clin Immunol; 1990; 86: 909-914.
  2. Kino, M; Izumi, K. Frequency of positive reaction to Pharmacia CAP System RAST new food and inhalant allergen (26 allergens) specific IgE in patients with atopic bronchial asthma. Japanese Soc Allergol; 1992.
  3. Lindqvist, A; Ikezawa, Z.; Tanaka, A; Yman, L. Seafood specific IgE in atopic dermatitis. Ann Allergy; 1993; 70:58.
  4. Matsumaru, S; Artia, M et al. Clinical evaluation of Pharmacia CAP System new allergens for fish, vegetables, fruits and grains. Jap Soc Ped Allergol; 1992.

As in all diagnostic testing, the diagnosis is made by the physican based on both test results and the patient history.