A tick-acquired red meat allergy

Published:October 16, 2017DOI:


      Allergic reaction is a common clinical picture in the Emergency Department (ED). Most allergic reactions are from food or drugs. A detailed history is an integral aspect of determining the causative agent of an allergy. Galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose (alpha-gal) allergy is a tick-acquired red meat allergy that causes delayed-onset allergic reaction or anaphylaxis due to molecular mimicry. Alpha-gal allergy may not be widely known as a cause of allergic reactions. Lack of universal awareness of this phenomenon in the ED and Urgent Care setting could lead to misdiagnosis, or delayed diagnosis. Subsequently, lack of proper instruction to avoid red meat could put patients at risk for future attacks with morbidity or mortality. We report three cases of allergic reaction presumed from red meat consumption secondary to alpha-gal allergy.


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