Oral mite anaphylaxis
Oral mite anaphylaxis (OMA), also known as pancake syndrome, is a disease in which a person gets symptoms after eating food contaminated with particular mites. The disease name comes from reports of people becoming ill after eating pancakes made from contaminated wheat or corn (maize) flour.
Dust mites are microscopic insects that produce very powerful allergens. If dust mites get into the food, then anyone eating the food is eating the allergens and may have an allergic reaction against them. The specific mites suspected as causing the condition are Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Blomia tropicalis, and Suidasia pontifica (Suidasia medanensis). The latter two are the most likely to have caused the harmful effects, and they live in tropical and subtropical environments.
Because the disease is transmitted by pancakes and other cooked food, scientists expect that this means that the allergen can withstand the heat of cooking.
The symptoms are allergic symptoms, especially trouble breathing, swelling of the face and throat, runny nose, cough, difficulty swallowing, and wheals. Anaphylaxis can occur during exposure to NSAID drugs or exercise to those exposed to the mites.
Storing flour at low temperature, such as in a freezer, could prevent contamination or kill existing mites in the flour.
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