Cracking the cashew nut: Strategies to identify novel allergens
Cashew nut allergy has been recognized as a severe tree nut allergy amongst (Dutch) children and young adults and its prevalence seems to be increasing. For clinical diagnosis of an allergy, it is essential to know the causative agents in the food product causing the allergic symptoms. Our knowledge of cashew nut proteins that can trigger an allergic reaction is currently very limited, especially compared to other nuts or seeds in which the allergen repertoire has been researched much more widely. We therefore aimed to apply innovative strategies and technologies to identify and characterize putative allergenic proteins in cashew nut, to broaden the current knowledge on cashew nut allergens beyond those already known (Ana o 1, Ana o 2 and Ana o 3). Knowledge of newly identified cashew nut proteins provides a basis for further research to extend clinical diagnostic tests and treatments currently available for cashew nut allergy.