Collagen-an important fish allergen for improved diagnosis

Kalic, Tanja, Kamath, Sandip D., Ruethers, Thimo, Taki, Aya C., Nugraha, Roni, Le, Thu T.K., Humeniuk, Piotr, Williamson, Nicholas A., Hira, Diamond, Rolland, Jennifer M., O'Hehir, Robyn E., Dai, Danyi, Campbell, Dianne E., Breiteneder, Heimo, and Lopata, Andreas L. (2020) Collagen-an important fish allergen for improved diagnosis. Journal Of Allergy And Clinical Immunology: In Practice, 8 (9). pp. 3084-3092.

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Fish collagen is widely used in medicine, cosmetics, and the food industry. However, its clinical relevance as an allergen is not fully appreciated. This is likely due to collagen insolubility in neutral aqueous solutions, leading to low abundance in commercially available in vitro and skin prick tests for fish allergy.


To investigate the relevance of fish collagen as an allergen in a large patient population (n = 101).


Acid-soluble collagen type I was extracted from muscle and skin of Atlantic salmon, barramundi, and yellowfin tuna. IgE binding to collagen was analyzed by ELISA for 101 fish-allergic patients. Collagen-sensitized patients' sera were tested for IgE binding to parvalbumin from the same fish species. IgE cross-linking was analyzed by rat basophil leukemia assay and basophil activation test. Protein identities were confirmed by mass spectrometry.


Purified fish collagen contained type I α1 and α2 chains and their multimers. Twenty-one of 101 patients (21%) were sensitized to collagen. Eight collagen-sensitized patients demonstrated absence of parvalbumin-specific IgE to some fish species. Collagen induced functional IgE cross-linking, as shown by rat basophil leukemia assay performed using 6 patients' sera, and basophil activation test using fresh blood from 1 patient. Collagen type I α chains from barramundi and Atlantic salmon were registered at as Lat c 6 and Sal s 6, respectively.


IgE sensitization and IgE cross-linking capacity of fish collagen were demonstrated in fish-allergic patients. Inclusion of relevant collagen allergens in routine diagnosis is indicated to improve the capacity to accurately diagnose fish allergy.

Item ID: 65788
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2213-2201
Keywords: Fish allergy; Collagen; IgE; Allergy diagnosis; IgE cross-linking
Copyright Information: © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. This is an open access article under the CCBY-NC-ND license (
Funders: Centre for Food and Allergy Research (CFAR), Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI), National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Austrian Science Fund (ASF), Medical University of Vienna (MUV)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC GNT1086656, NHMRC GNT1124143, ASF project grant W1248-B30
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2021 23:39
FoR Codes: 46 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 4606 Distributed computing and systems software > 460606 Energy-efficient computing @ 50%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3204 Immunology > 320401 Allergy @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920108 Immune System and Allergy @ 80%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920406 Food Safety @ 20%
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