Food Allergies Caused by Allergenic Lipid Transfer Proteins: What Is behind the Geographic Restriction?

  • M. J. Rial
  • J. SastreEmail author
Allergens (RK Bush and S Vieths, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Allergens


Purpose of Review

To critically examine evidence suggesting that food allergy induced by lipid transfer proteins (LTPs) follows a geographic pattern.

Recent Findings

LTP syndrome remains most common in the Mediterranean basin, with a clear gradient seen in prevalence of LTP sensitization between northern and southern Europe. We hypothesize that high levels of birch pollen seem to protect against LTP allergy, as these higher levels correlate with a lower prevalence of LTP hypersensitivity. Nevertheless, LTP food allergy cases still appear in areas having a high environmental level of birch pollen.


Food allergy caused by LTP may be related to (1) primary sensitization to a food LTP allergen in the absence of pollinosis, (2) primary sensitization to LTP from a pollen source, and (3) co-sensitization to LTP from pollen and food.


Food allergy Lipid transfer protein LTP Panallergen Plant food 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Allergy Department, Hospital Universitario Fundación Jiménez DíazUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.CIBERESInstituto Salud Carlos IIIMadridSpain

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