Cross-reactivity between royal jelly and Dermato-phagoides pteronyssinusThe Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Volume 1, Issue 2 , Pages 200-201, March 2013
Royal jelly (RJ) is a secretion of the hypopharyngeal and mandibular glands of worker honeybees (Apis mellifera). Approximately one-half of its dry weight consists of protein; other components are fatty acids, sugars, and vitamins. It is used as a health tonic, widely consumed in Asia, with believed benefits that range from promoting growth in children to improving general health status and enhancing longevity in the elderly.
Severe reactions, such as anaphylaxis and asthma have been reported especially in the adult population.1, 2
We present the only reported case of allergy to RJ which suggests the presence of cross-reactive allergenic epitopes in RJ and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus.
An 11-year-old girl was admitted to the emergency department, presenting with dysphonia, cough, wheezing, and eyelid angioedema. She was treated with intravenous diphenhydramine and steroids, which resulted in prompt resolution of her symptoms. Two hours before this reaction she had ingested a beverage made of crude RJ and fructose, and she had taken an ibuprofen 30 minutes before drinking the beverage to treat an upper respiratory tract infection. It was the first time she had RJ, and she had tolerated ibuprofen previously…
In summary, RJ may cause allergic reactions in atopic persons, especially in those patients allergic to D pteronyssinus, given the presence of cross-reactive epitopes in both allergens.