Food allergy and cross-reactivity-chickpea as a test case

Shimrit Bar-El Dadon, Cristina Y. Pascual, Ram Reifen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Chickpea has become one of the most abundant crops consumed in the Mediterranean and also in western world. Chickpea allergy is reported in specific geographic areas and is associated with lentil and/or pea allergy. We investigated cross-reactivity between chickpea and pea/lentil/soybean/hazelnut. The IgE-binding profiles of chickpea globulin and pea/lentil/soybean/hazelnut extracts were analyzed by immunoblotting and immunoblot-inhibition studies. Inhibition-assay with pea/lentil completely suppressed IgE-binding to chickpea globulin allergens, while not so in the reciprocal inhibition. Pre-absorption of sera with chickpea globulin caused the disappearance of IgE-binding to protein on an immunoblot of soybean/hazelnut protein extract. These results suggest that cross-reactivity exists between chickpea and pea/lentil/soybean/hazelnut. Chickpea allergy is associated with lentil and/or pea allergy, but evidently may not present independently. This, together with the described asymmetric cross-reactivity and phylogenetic aspects, suggest that chickpea allergy is merely an expression of cross-reactivity, caused by pea and/or lentil as the "primary" allergen.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)483-488
Number of pages6
JournalFood Chemistry
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2014


  • Chickpea
  • Cross-reactivity
  • Food allergy
  • Legumes
  • Pan-allergens


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