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Food Allergies and Intolerance
Leben mit Nahrungsmittel-Allergie

Internet Symposium on Food Allergens 2(Suppl.5): 1-12 (2000) http://www.food-allergens.de

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Allergen Data Collection - Update:
Bird-Egg Syndrome
Authors in alphabetical order [contact information]
BESLER (Hamburg, Germany)
RANCÉ (Toulouse, France)
SZÉPFALUSI (Vienna, Austria)


An IgE-mediated hypersensitivity designated "bird-egg syndrome" occurs occasionally in adults after repeated exposure to birds (budgerigar, canary, parrot, etc.) mostly kept in the home. The bird-egg syndrome consists primarily of respiratory symptoms following exposure to bird, and secondarily of allergy symptoms after the ingestion of eggs. This syndrome displays a cross- sensitization to egg yolk and bird allergens (feathers, serum, droppings, and meat). This phenomenon underlines the importance of the sensitization via the respiratory route in food allergy. It could be distinguished from the common egg allergy in children. The pathomechanism of IgE-mediated bird-egg syndrome is also different from pigeon fancier's lung (a form of extrinsic allergic alveolitis), which is not a subject of the present data collection.
There are some differences in the clinical features of bird-egg syndrome and common egg allergy without sensitization to bird proteins: patients with bird-egg syndrome are typical adult patients with rhinoconjunctivitis and/or asthma due to bird allergy; the symptoms associated with ingestion of eggs usually include several target organs (digestive, cutaneous or respiratory); and the major allergens are the alpha-livetins (serum albumin) from the egg yolk proteins.
Molecular biological and allergenic properties of egg yolk allergens alpha-livetin (chicken serum albumin), apovitellenin I and VI are presented. Alpha-livetin is also present in avian meat and serum. It is assumed that livetins lead to the cross- sensitization between bird antigens, egg yolk, and chicken meat. Thus, egg yolk allergic individuals may have to avoid avian meat too. Up to now only little is known about the properties of feather allergens.

The present data collection reviews detailed information on the prevalence and symptoms of bird-egg syndrome as well as diagnostic features, sensitization patterns, and the occurrence of cross- reactivities in tabular form.
1 Prevalence of Bird-Egg Syndrome
2 Outgrowing of Sensitivity
3 Symptoms of Bird-Egg Syndrome
4 Diagnostic Features of Bird-Egg Syndrome
5 Composition of Egg Yolk
6 Allergens involved in Bird-Egg Syndrome
6.1 Sensitization to Allergens of Bird's Egg Yolk and/or Feathers
6.2 alpha-Livetin (Egg Yolk)
6.3 Apovitellenin I (Egg Yolk)
6.4 Apovitellenin VI (Egg Yolk)
7 Isolation & Preparation
8 Cross-Reactivities
9 Allergen Sources
10 References

The reference lists of the Allergen Data Collections are based mainly on searches of 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 of 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 are responsible for use which might be made of the information.

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