There’s a link between shellfish allergy and house dust mite allergy

Crustaceans such as crabs, shrimps, scampi, prawns, crayfish, and lobster are one of the major triggers of food allergies in adults in the world. A shellfish allergy is also one of the most dangerous allergies, sending more people to emergency rooms than any other food allergy. The protein tropomyosin – which can be found in the muscle tissue of shellfish – is a potent allergen. In some cases, even inhaling the cooking vapors can cause an allergic reaction. Allergic symptoms usually start about 30 minutes after eating and can include

– Stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting
– Swelling and itching of the mouth and throat
– Skin reactions, such as redness, rash, and itching
– Allergic rhinitis, runny nose
– Red and watery eyes
– In extreme cases, tightness in the chest, and shortness of breath

The protein tropomyosin is a so-called pan-allergen in invertebrates. A shellfish allergy therefore often causes cross-reactions, which means people with shellfish allergy are likely to also be allergic to other invertebrates, such as mollusks (like clams and squid) and house dust mites. An allergy to shellfish can extend to mites and, vice versa, an existing mite allergy can lead to a shellfish allergy.

Dust mites are a primary sensitizer for developing a shellfish allergy!

That means, people who do not have a shellfish allergy can get sensitized by exposure to dust mite allergens and then later develop a much more serious shellfish allergy. Avoiding exposure to dust mite allergens with allergo® mattress and bedding encasings is a useful precaution for all people who like eating shellfish on a regular basis.