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Novel Antigen Implicated in Immediate Hypersensitivity to Beer

In mass spectrometric analysis, main antigen identified as protein with similarity to z-type serpin

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 6, 2016 (HealthDay News) — A novel antigen, which belongs to the protein Z family, may be involved in immediate hypersensitivity to beer, according to a case report published online Dec. 12 in the Journal of Dermatology.

Tomoko Inoue, M.D., Ph.D., from the Nishichita General Hospital in Japan, and colleagues describe a case of immediate hypersensitivity to beer in a 26-year-old female with a history of atopic dermatitis and seasonal rhinitis. At a consultation for atopic dermatitis the patient informed the attending physician that in the past four to five years she had experienced strong itchiness of the medial angle of the eye and eyelid angioedema about 20 to 30 minutes after drinking beer. No symptoms were elicited with ingestion of bread, baking products, rice, or whiskey.

The researchers found that the patient showed positive reactions to the base ingredients of beer in skin prick tests, specifically malt and barley. Weakly positive reactivity was seen for the specific serum immunoglobulin E antibodies against barley and malt. Malt and barley proteins were separated by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunoreacted with serum from the patient. Mass spectrometric analysis showed that the main antigen was a protein with similarity to z-type serpin, with a molecular weight of 20 to 25 kDa.

“Taken together, these analyses indicate that a possible new antigen which belongs to the protein Z family elicits immediate hypersensitivity to beer,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed employment by Hoyu.

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