oa Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology - Allergy and asthma to indigenous seafood species in South Africa : review article

Volume 20 Number 4
  • ISSN : 1609-3607



Worldwide, food allergies and anaphylaxis are increasing at a faster rate than any other allergic disorders, affecting up to 4% of adults and 8% of children. Most allergic reactions to foods can be attributed to a few food groups including seafood, which form important protein sources in Africa. The move to healthier eating habits that promote seafood consumption has resulted in more frequent reporting of allergic health problems among consumers as well as processors of seafood. Increased efforts aimed at developing more specific diagnostic tests as well as effective therapies and preventive measures are dependent on the detailed characterisation of seafood allergens. Over the past decade, a number of studies of allergic disease outcomes associated with indigenous seafood species have been conducted among consumers and processors in South Africa. These studies have focused on identifying and characterising the implicated allergens using a combination of epidemiological, immunological and molecular approaches.

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