Pollen food allergy syndrome to tomato in mountain cedar pollen hypersensitivity

Rana Bonds, Guanjan S. Sharma, Yasuto Kondo, Jay van Bavel, Randall M. Goldblum, Terumi Midoro-Horiuti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Mountain cedar pollen is recognized as a major cause of seasonal hypersensitivity in the US. We describe here that a subgroup of these patients also suffer from pollen food allergy syndrome (PFAS). Objective: We performed this study to determine the frequency of PFAS among patients with mountain cedar hypersensitivity. Methods: We performed mail-out/telephone surveys of 800 mountain cedar-sensitive patients in Austin, TX. The subjects for this survey were selected by telephone screening, and skin and serologic testing. We performed immunoblot inhibition assay and mass spectrometry (MS)to identify the allergens that cause PFAS. Results: Of the 28 patients with suspected food allergies, 15 had clinical manifestations of PFAS. Eleven of them had positive skin tests to tomato, six to banana, and one to apple. The subjects with PFAS have stronger cutaneous and in vitro reactivity to cedar pollen. The intensities of the tomato and banana reactivity were correlated with the cedar reactivity. The results of the ImmunoCAP inhibition experiments demonstrated a strong cross-reactivity between IgE antibodies to cedar pollen and fruits. This suggested that their primary sensitization was to cedar pollen, since absorption with cedar pollen extract strongly inhibited reactivity to each of the fruits, while the absorption with tomato extract did not significantly inhibit IgE binding to cedar extract. We determined that polygalacturonase 2 A (PG2 A)in tomato is the cause of PFAS. Conclusion: This is the first report of a PFAS in patients with mountain cedar pollinosis. Sensitivity to tomato, banana, and apple should be considered in cedar-sensitive patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-86
Number of pages4
JournalMolecular Immunology
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • Cedar pollen hypersensitivity
  • Food allergy
  • Mountain cedar
  • PFAS
  • Pollen food allergy syndrome
  • Tomato allergy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology


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