Ask the allergist is a regular feature in our newsletters where Canadian allergists answer your questions!
Please note: The allergists featured in this series answer questions on general topics, please talk to your doctor if you have questions about your own health or the health of your child.
This month we get an answer from Dr. Julia Upton on the connection with dust mite and crustacean allergies.
I’ve had a dust mite allergy since childhood. In my teens, I was diagnosed with a crustacean allergy. Is there a link between these allergies?
There is a link between dust mite and crustacean allergies because they share a similar protein (tropomyosin).
Some people develop allergies to both, while it is also possible to independently develop these allergies.
Not everyone who is allergic to dust mites will develop an allergy to crustaceans (e.g., lobster, shrimp) or molluscs (e.g., scallops, clams).
Since tropomyosin can also be found in cockroaches, there is the potential for an allergy to them as well.
Dr. Julia Upton is on staff at the Hospital for Sick Children in the Immunology and Allergy Department; and an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Toronto. She is the past Section Chair of the Anaphylaxis and Food Allergy Section of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Dr. Upton is also a member of our Healthcare Advisory Board.
Please note: Dr. Upton is answering as an individual allergist and her answers do not constitute an official position of her affiliated organizations. Her responses are for informational purposes only and do not constitute specific medical advice, recommendations, diagnosis, or treatment. Please talk to your doctor about any concerns or questions you may have regarding your own health or the health of your child.Tags: ask the allergist, crustacean allergy, dust mite, mollusc allergy