Banana as a food allergen source
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Banana is a perennial herbaceous plant widely cultivated in the tropical and subtropical regions. The pulp of the fruit is a rich source of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, low glycemic carbohydrates, and fiber, and thereby its consumption has beneficial effects on human health. These nutritional values and its pleasant taste induced the introduction of banana fruit into human diet in infancy and also during convalescence. However, in spite of positive health effects, banana fruit has been recognized as an important food allergen source. The clinical manifestations of banana allergy have usually been associated with mild, local symptoms denoted as oral allergy syndrome. However, more severe reactions, as well as cases of anaphylactic reactions to banana fruit have been registered. IgE reactivity of banana is associated with different proteins, and, so far, only six allergens have been identified and characterized: profilin - actin binding protein (Mus a 1), a class 1 chitinase (Mus a ...2), non-specific lipid transfer protein (Mus a 3), thaumatin-like protein (Mus a 4), beta-1,3-glucanase (Mus a 5), and recently registered ascorbate peroxidase (Mus a 6). In this review, we will address the structural features of identified banana allergens and correlate in vitro and in vivo clinical reactivity with their structural homologs from other allergen sources. © 2016 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
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