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

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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

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