Oral allergy syndrome

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Also known as the pollen-food allergy syndrome.

Localized allergic reaction, patients develop itching or tingling of the oropharyngeal cavity. An itchy throat must be distinguished from laryngeal involvement where airway obstruction is a danger.

Caused by cross-reactivity between certain pollen and food antigens. Fruit are particularly implicated. Cooking often produces tolerance, presumably through alteration in 3 dimensional structure of antigens.

It has been described with 'young' wine (aged less than a year) and grape juice where the food allergen turned out to be Hymenoptera antigen, mostly but not exclusively of paper wasps (Polistes spp.')[1]. Such observations are important as allergy is complex and open to misinterpretation.

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