Alpha-gal allergy

Tick-triggered allergy surfaces in northern Minnesota, MPR News, Jan 12, 2017Dr. Alaaddin Kandeel, an allergist at Essentia Health in Duluth who saw Keithley-Myers, said he’s diagnosed the same allergy in 18 patients, including 10 from northeast Minnesota and eight from northwest Wisconsin. Diagnoses of the allergy have exploded, from a couple dozen people when it was first identified about seven years ago, to several thousand today.

The lone star tick isn’t supposed to be in Minnesota. Yet, in the last couple years at least two dozen people in the northern part of the state have suddenly become severely allergic to red meat. He’s now conducting experiments to try to find out exactly what in the tick bite is triggering the allergy. Here’s the leading hypothesis. A tick feasts on an animal like a deer, or a mouse, that carries the alpha-gal carbohydrate. Later that tick bites a human, and transfers something in its saliva that triggers an allergic reaction.

The deer tick, which carries Lyme disease, could probably cause the alpha-gal allergy in that manner, said Commins.

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