Author ORCID Identifier
Adam M. Franks, MD (ORCID# 0000-0002-3710-6138)
Alpha-Gal, Allergies, Appalachia, tick
Allergy and Immunology | Animal Diseases | Digestive System Diseases | Family Medicine | Medicine and Health Sciences
Alpha-gal allergy, or mammalian meat allergy, is described as the development of IgE antibodies to the oligosaccharide galactose-a-1,3-galactose following a bite from the tick species Amblyomma americanum (Lone Star tick) or Dermacentor variabillis (Wood tick). Dermatologic or gastrointestinal symptoms are usually delayed by four to six hours after exposure, making the diagnosis difficult. Due to the use of mammalian proteins in many common medications, surgical equipment and prosthesis, unexpected reactions can occur. In the United States, this pathology is predominately seen in the southeast, but has been associated with other tick species on every continent except Antarctica. As the habitat for Amblyomma and Dermacentor continues to move further north due to changing patterns in deer population and weather, incidence of alpha-gal syndrome has increased in the states outside its normal southeastern locale, especially in people with occupations and hobbies that require time outdoors in wooded areas.
Franks, Adam M. MD; Murphy, Makala BS; Griffis, Madison MD; Franks, Rebekah BA, CWR; Franks, Colin M.; and Petty, Gary MD
"Alpha-Gal Allergy: a new threat to Appalachia,"
Marshall Journal of Medicine:
4, Article 2.
Available at: https://mds.marshall.edu/mjm/vol7/iss4/2