Allergies are a growing health problem in developed and developing countries that result in increased healthcare expenditures. This problem is further compounded by increasing number of allergens found in genetically modified (GM) food and allergens found in unexpected sources (hidden allergens). The importance of allergies has prompted the use of new methods like genomics, proteomics, and microarray in understanding the nature of allergies. These methods have generated large amounts of data that have to be stored, retrieved, and analyzed using bioinformatics approaches. Several specialized public databases have been created in response to increasing allergen data. These specialized databases integrate the various information found in general databases into a coherent set of data and provide bioinformatics tools suitable for further analysis. The resources provided by these databases have paved the way for the creation of specialized bioinformatics tools that allow for the prediction of allergenicity. These prediction tools are crucial in view of the new sources of allergens, namely, hidden allergens and potential allergens in the form of recombinant proteins in GM food. Here we review the bioinformatics resources and tools available for the study of allergenicity.
KeywordsGenetically Modify Sequence Similarity Search Allergy Immunol Source Database Protein Data Bank Structure
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