Based on my understanding of how adaptive immune responses arise, I would expect peanut allergies to be roughly normally distributed with regard to severity, like other food allergies. However, peanut allergies seem to be at least generally accepted as trending to the "extremely severe" side of the scale.

What is it about peanut antigens that promotes the development of extreme allergic responses?


To start, Peanut allergy is one of the most common allergens in the allergic population with 12 known allergen proteins.

four common food allergy superfamilies: Cupin (Ara h 1), Prolamin (Ara h 2, 6, 7, 9), Profilim (Ara h 5), and Bet v-1-related proteins (Ara h 8). Among these peanut allergens, Ara h 1, Ara h 2, Ara h 3 and Ara h 6 are considered to be major allergens which means that they trigger an immunological response in more than 50% of the allergic population. Source: Mueller GA, Maleki SJ, Pedersen LC (2014). "The Molecular Basis of Peanut Allergy". Current Allergy and Asthma Reports.- wikipedia

Peanuts harbor 12 allergens and multiple isoforms recognized by the Allergen Nomenclature Sub-Committee of... - Molecular basis of peanut allergy


Compared to the other common allergy-causing food are : Eggs, Milk, Tree nuts, Fish, Shellfish, Wheat and Soy, which account for 90% (including peanuts) of the total allergic population - American college of allergy, asthma and immunology

Five major allergenic proteins from the egg of the domestic chicken (Gallus domesticus) have been identified wikipedia, egg allergy

Six major allergenic proteins from cow's milk have been identified wikipedia, milk allergy

Tree nuts

Hazenut: 13 allergen proteins

Wallnut: 7 allergen proteins

Pecan: 3

Almond: 6

Cashew: 4

Pistachio: 6

Science Direct

As implied from a long article, common fish species vary from 1-4 allergens.. NCBI - Fish Allergens at a Glance: Variable Allergenicity of Parvalbumins, the Major Fish Allergens

As implied from a tables in the article, common shellfish species vary from 1-4 allergens.. NCBI - Allergens and molecular diagnostics of shellfish allergy

There are four major classes of seed storage proteins: albumins, globulins, prolamins and glutelins wikipedia -Wheat allergy

Allergenic proteins from soy are named under a nomenclature decided by IUIC, which is also responsible for numbering many of the proteins. Proteins numbered by IUIC include:[18]

Gly m 1, a hydrophobic protein Gly m 2, defensin Gly m 3, profilin Gly m 4, PR-10 Gly m 5, vicilin, a cupin Gly m 6, legumin, a cupin Gly m 7, seed biotinylated protein Gly m 8, 2S albumin These proteins are recognized by the immune system as antigens in susceptible individuals. As many as 8 other soy allergenic proteins are known. wikipedia - Soy allergy


Since there is no article directly correlating the food and the severity of its allergic reaction. It is safe to say that the number of allergens in the food has a significant relationship to the severity of the allergic reaction.

there had been studies regarding the relationship between doses and the reaction but with unpredictable results. Other studies emphasized the risk of doing human studies.

  • "It is safe to say that the number of allergens in the food has a significant relationship to the severity of the allergic reaction" can you please explain why this assumption is safe to make? (I could easily imagine how number of allergenic proteins coiuld correlate with frequency but not severity) Apr 28 '20 at 19:38

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