What is Mammalian Meat Allergy?

While there are many triggers of anaphylaxis, one of the more unusual is mammalian meat allergy.
While there are many triggers of anaphylaxis, one of the more unusual is mammalian meat allergy.

This allergy develops after a person has been bitten by a tick. These patients may become allergic to all mammalian meat - beef, pork, lamb, kangaroo, and also allergic to meat products, including dairy and anything containing gelatine, glycerine or substances which include traces of animal by-products such as toothpaste, moisturisers and wine. There have been cases of people developing mammalian meat allergy after tick bites and it may manifest as anaphylaxis up to 12+ hrs after ingestion.  

This allergy is produced by a reaction to Alpha-gal (galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose)  which is a carbohydrate found in the blood of all mammals except for humans and the great apes. When ticks bite a mammal such as a bandicoot, possum or rat, they pick up the alpha-gal, and then it is transferred to humans via the tick bite.

If you would like to know more about anaphylaxis, envenomation and many other subjects then register and attend one of our ALERT™ courses.

Click here to view the full course agenda and upcoming workshop dates for the ALERT™ course.

References:

Jackson WL. 2018. Mammalian meat allergy following a tick bite: a case report.  Oxf Med Case Reports. 2018 Feb; 2018(2): omx098. Published online 2018 Feb 21. doi: 10.1093/omcr/omx098.  PMCID: PMC5822700. PMID: 29492269.

van Nunen SA. 2018. Tick-induced allergies: mammalian meat allergy and tick anaphylaxis. Med J Aust; 208 (7): 316-321. doi: 10.5694/mja17.00591. Published online: 16 April 2018

{{commentCount}} comment(s). You must be logged in and AHPRA verified to view and comment. Login here.
Ken Hambrecht

Ken Hambrecht

Ken is the Founder and Principal Consultant for Critical Care Education Services (part of the Medcast Group).
Ph: 1300 898 973 www.criticalcare.edu.au

The latest healthcare news from medcast

Vaping - Friend or Foe?
Vaping - Friend or Foe?

Where are we with vaping? Are e-cigarettes the shining knight who will rid the world of cigarettes or dangerous products wrapped up in clever marketing with the 'unintended consequence' of luring young people into the world of smoking?

On being a GP seeking help
On being a GP seeking help

I had an interesting experience at my GP recently. I don’t go to the GP very often. Mostly I don’t get sick. Sometimes I treat my own ills or just soldier on. On the few occasions that I have been to see someone about something concerning me, my overwhelming experience has been of being judged and dismissed. I feel that they think that, as a doctor, I should have not only made the diagnosis but also treated myself. In fact, I should have been better way before I thought to come along!

Let’s talk about self-soothing
Let’s talk about self-soothing

I talk to a lot of health professionals and it amazes me how often people look at me blankly when I introduce the subject of self-soothing activities. As the conversation progresses I can see most of the blank looks turn to some degree of understanding as they begin to acknowledge the familiarity of the concept in their own lives, but GPs in particular are not generally familiar with the fact that teaching people about emotional management strategies is a core part of therapy, and an intervention that is entirely available to them in general practice.

Can I have medical cannabis on PBS doctor?
Can I have medical cannabis on PBS doctor?

I’ve been asked this question twice in the last month. Once by a 70 year old patient who has taken up smoking weed to control her neuropathic pain, let’s call her ‘Rachel’. And the other a young man aged 26 (Sean) who is smoking cannabis to help control his chronic anxiety.

Join Medcast. It's free and you'll get instant access to essential healthcare news, research and more.

Already a member? Sign-in