Latin name: Helix aspersa
Source material: Whole snail
A possible cross-reactivity between snails and house dust mites has been reported.
Cooked or smoked in various dishes.
Data suggest some shared epitopes between snail and minor thermostable allergens present in house dust mite.
Reactivity to snails may possibly be induced by immunotherapy with mite extracts.
Snails have two pairs of tentacles, a single broad flat foot and bear a spirally-coiled shell. This group of snails inhabits vineyards and all regions that are not too moist.
France consumes and processes more snails than any other country and imports snails from Taiwan and Indonesia. Of the hundreds of wild species, there are only a few which are commercially important: Helix pomatia, Roman snail; H. aspersa, "petit gris" and H. aspersa maxima, "gros gris". The H. aspersa species are under cultivation.
A possible cross-reactivity between snails and house dust mites has been reported (1, 2). Extended studies showed complex antibody patterns in the snail-sensitive patients and data suggest some shared epitope(s) between snail and minor thermostable allergens present in house dust mite (3, 4). The shared activities do not seem to be related to Der p 1 or tropomyosin. Reactivity to snails may possibly be induced by immuno-therapy with mite extracts (5).
- Goyeau E; Guilloux, L; Vayleux, M; Leophonte-Domairon M L; Didier A; Anaphylactic manifestations after snails ingestion and sensitisation to house dust mite: a cross-reactivity is highly possible. Allergy 1995;26(50 Suppl):126.
- van Ree, R; Antonicelli, L; Akkerdaas, JH; Pajno, GB; Barberio, G; Corbetta, L; Ferro, G; Zambito, M; Garritani, MS; Aalberse, RC; Bonifazi, F. Asthma after consumption of snails in house-dust-mite-allergic patients: a case of IgE cross-reactivity. Allergy; 1996; 51: 387-393.
- Vuitton, D-A; Rancé, F; Paquin, M-L; Adessi,B; Vigan, M; Gomot, A; Dutau, G. Cross-reactivity between terrestrial snails (Helix species) and house-dust mite
- Guilloux, L; Vuitton, D-A; Delbourg, M; Lagier, A; Adessi, B; Marchand, CR; Ville, G. Cross-reactivity between terrestrial snails (Helix species) and house-dust mite (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus). II. In vitro study. Allergy; 1998; 53: 151-158.
- van Ree, R; Antonicelli, L; Akkerdaas, JH; Garritani, MS; Aalberse, RC; Bonifazi, F. Possible induction of food allergy during mite immunotherapy. Allergy; 1996; 51: 108-113.