Lobster

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Code: f80
Latin name: Homarus gammarus
Source material: Lobster meat
Family: Homaridae
Crossreactivity to other shellfish has been demonstrated.

Allergen Exposure

Cooked in various dishes.
Occupational exposure among fishermen and in the fish industry.

Potential Cross-Reactivity

Some allergen determinants are shared by members of the Crustacea group, such as shrimp, crab, crayfish, spiny lobster (langust).

Clinical Experience

IgE-mediated reactions
Skin sensitivity to lobster has been reported.
 
Other reactions
Seafood may contain high levels of histamine.
 
Review
Lobster is a large 10-footed, long-tailed crustacean with large claws highly prized for its meat. The European lobster is Homarus gammarus; the American, H. americanus, which together represent almost 100% of the world’s commercial catch.
 
Skin sensitivity to lobster has been reported (1). Results from immunological studies suggest that there are IgE-mediated mechanisms in seafood allergy and cross-reacting allergens within the class Crustacea that have the potential to sensitize individuals to other members prior to exposure. Halmepuro et al. (2) showed shared antigenic determinants among Crustacea antigens. Crossed immunoelectrophoresis demonstrated four lobster allergens in individual or pooled sera from patients shown to be positive to lobster allergens using Phadebas RAST tracer. There is some cross-reactivity between shrimp (f24), crab (f23), lobster (f80) and crayfish (Rf320) (2-4).
A related crustacean, the Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus), also called scampi, langoustine, or prawn, has been reported to cause occupational hypersensitivity with IgE antibody titer correlated to duration of exposure and duration of symptoms (5).

References

  1. Stricker, WE; Anorve-Lopez, E; Reed, CE. Food skin testing in patients with idiopathic anaphylaxis. J Allergy Clin Immunol; 1986; 77: 516-519.
  2. Halmepuro, L; Salvaggio, JE; Lehrer, SB. Crawfish and lobster allergens: Identification and structural similarities with other crustacea. Int Archs Allergy Appl Immunol; 1987; 84: 165-172.
  3. Lehrer, SB. The complex nature of food antigens: studies of cross-reacting crustacea allergens. Ann Allergy; 1986; 57: 267-272.
  4. Lehrer, SB. Hypersensitivity reactions in seafood workers. Allergy Proc; 1990; 11: 67-68.
  5. McSharry, C; Anderson, K; Mckay, IC; Colloff, MJ; Feyerabend, C; Wilson, RB; Wilkinson, PC. The IgE and IgG antibody response to aerosols of Nephrops norvegicus (prawn) antigens: the association with clinical hypersensitivity and cigarette smoking. Clin Exp Allergy; 1994; 97: 499-504

 

As in all diagnostic testing, the diagnosis is made by the physican based on both test results and the patient history.