Oyster

 
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Code: f290
Latin name: Ostrea edulis
Source material: Fresh whole oyster
Family: Ostreidae
Oyster and crustacea extracts show common antigenic structures.

Allergen Exposure

Oysters are eaten raw, cooked or smoked.
Oyster sauce is used for flavouring of various dishes.
Unexpected exposure
Undeclared oyster sauce in various dishes.

Potential Cross-Reactivity

Oyster and crustacea extracts show common antigenic structures.
Some crossreactivity to blue mussel (f37) can be expected.

Clinical Experience

IgE-mediated reactions
Exercise-induced anaphylaxis has been reported.
Oyster shell dust has been identified as an inhalant allergen in occupational asthma.
 
Review
Oyster is a bivalve mollusk. The edible oysters belong to two genera, Ostrea and Crassostrea. Oysters in warm seas may take 18 months to reach market size, while in cooler seas, up to 5 years. Oyster has been reported as both an ingested and occupational allergen. Oysters are eaten fresh and canned, but also smoked. The Japanese have extensive off-bottom culture, especially in protected bays. The Chinese have all over the world exported a pungent sauce made from oyster extract and used for flavoring.
 
Lehrer & McCants (1) studied IgE antibody reactivity to oyster extracts in oyster-tolerant and oyster-sensitive subjects. Specific IgE determinations correlated weakly with skin prick tests. RAST® inhibition showed common antigenic structures in oyster and crustacea extracts. Oysters may eat crustacea larvae (1).
 
Exercise-induced anaphylaxis has been reported after ingestion of smoked oysters (2).
 
One of the largest cultivations has taken place in Hiroshima Bay, Japan, since the 16th century. An early study from Japan identified oyster shell as an inhalant allergen in occupational bronchial asthma in workers at processing plants (3).

References

  1. Lehrer, SB; McCants, ML. Reactivity of IgE antibodies with crustacea and oyster allergens: Evidence for common antigenic structures. J Allergy Clin Immunol; 1987; 80: 133-139.
  2. Maulitz, RM; Pratt, DS; Schocket, AL. Exercise-induced anaphylactic reaction to shellfish. J Allergy Clin Immunol; 1979; 63: 433-434.
  3. Wada, S; Nishimoto, Y; Nakashima, T; Shigenobu, T; Onari, K; Awaya, M. Clinical observation of bronchial asthma in culture-oyster workers. Hiroshima J Med Sci; 1967; 16: 255-266.

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