Shellfish allergy

What is a shellfish allergy?

A shellfish allergy is a food allergy where you develop allergic symptoms after eating shellfish. It is a very common allergy in both adults and children. Shellfish include prawns, lobsters, crabs, oysters, mussels, abalone, and many other marine animals. You may be allergic to only one type of shellfish or may be allergic to a wide variety (many of them can cause cross-reactions, and it is common for people to be allergic to many different types of shellfish), and signs and symptoms might range from mild to life threatening.

The most common allergens are forms of tropomyosin. In humans, this protein is a vital part of muscle and helps regulate muscle contraction. Shellfish tropomyosin and human tropomyosin are different, so you don't have to worry about becoming allergic to your own tissues. Tropomyosins in house dust mites are similar to those found in shellfish, and you may find that you also develop a house dust mite allergy. In children, shrimp light chain myosin is an important allergen. Myosin is also found in human muscles, but is structurally different to the form found in shrimp, so it is unlikely that you will develop an allergy to your own myosin as well. In addition, a protein known as sarcoplasmic calcium-binding protein is also a significant allergen, and this is also found in the muscles of shellfish.

Shellfish Allergy Guide Index:

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