Background: Ficus carica is an edible fruit, belonging to the Moraceae family, rarely described as cause of food allergy. We describe the first case of fig allergy that occurred as a cross-reactivity between fig and Derp 1. Case presentation: We present a case of a 10-years-old-girl, with a history of no-seasonal mild intermittent rhinitis, who experienced an immediate reaction after ingestion of a fresh fig. Skin prick tests (SPT) with commercial extracts of food, airborne allergens, latex and panallergens (profilin, PR-10 and lipid transfer protein) were performed. SPT revealed a sensitization only for dermatophagoides farina and dermatophagoides pteronyssinus which was then confirmed with by specific IgE assay (UniCAP, Phadia, Uppsala, Sweden). We also carried out a positive SPT with a commercial fig allergen (Lofarma, Milan, Italy) and prick-by-prick (PBP) both with skin and pulp of green raw and cooked fig. Fig specific serum IgE levels were 1.08 U/ml and specific IgE for rDer p1 was 16.20 U/ml (total serum IgE = 377 U/ ml). In contrast specific IgE levels for latex, LTP, profilin, PR-10 and pollen allergens were negative. Conclusion: The ficin, the major fig allergen, belongs to cysteine protease family like Der p 1. The symptoms presented by our patient could be related to a cross reactivity between these two proteins which present a structural homology.
- Cysteine proteases