The aims of this case-control study were to determine the prevalence of Anisakis-specific IgE in patients reporting chronic or acute gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms and to investigate the correlation with raw fish ingestion habits. A group of patients undergoing gastric endoscopy and a control group of healty subjects answered a self-administered questionnaire on their food habits, presence of symptoms (both allergic and not allergic), and general life style. The presence of anti-Anisakis IgE has been evaluated using a serum immunoCAP assay. Our data show a low prevalence of IgE directed against Anisakis allergens in Italy in dyspeptic patients, despite the high consumption of poorly cooked fish. These findings does not correlate with the results of studies from other Mediterranean countries, such as Spain, for example. The general prevalence of Anisakis allergens sensitization in Italy could be further investigated through screenings in the allergic population, especially on those patients who claim to have developed a fish allergy and with history of raw fish consumption. Moreover, the attention should be moved on recent allergic reactions associated with fishing ingestion. This could in fact indicate a recent encounter with the parasite. Finally, we must underline that the evaluation of Anisakis-specific IgG would have probably shown a difference in terms of exposure between the two groups; thus, it might be useful to detect also this antibody class in future population-based studies.
3. del Pozo MD, Moneo I, de Corres LF, Audicana MT, Muñoz D, Fernandez E, Navarro JA, García M. Laboratory determinations in Anisakis simplex allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1996; 97 (4): 977-984.
4. Audicana MT, Kennedy MW. Anisakis simplex: from obscure infectious worm to inducer of immune hypersensitivity. Clin Microbiol Rev 2008; 21 (2): 360-379.
5. Yoo MD, Kim MD, Lee JM,Kim MA, Han JK, Choi BI. The Association of Anisakiasis in the Ascending Colon with Sigmoid Colon Cancer: CT Colonography Findings. Korean J Radiol 2008; 9 (Suppl):56-60.
6. Toro C, Caballero ML. High Prevalence of Seropositivity to a Major Allergen of Anisakis simplex, Ani s1, in Dyspeptic Patients. Clin Diagn Lab Immunol 2004;11(1):115-118.
7. Valiñas B, Lorenzo S, Eiras A, Figueiras A, Sanmartín ML, Ubeira FM. Prevalence of and risk factors for IgE sensitization to Anisakis simplex in a Spanish population. Allergy 2001; 56 (7): 667-671.
8. Mattiucci S, Colantoni A, Crisafi B, Mori-Ubaldini F, Caponi L, Fazii P, Nascetti G, Bruschi F. IgE sensitization to Anisakis pegreffii in Italy. Comparison of two methods for the diagnosis of allergic anisakiasis. Parasite Immunol 2017; 39 (7):e12440.