Seafood allergy

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Seafood allergy
Classification and external resources
ICD-9-CM V15.04

A seafood allergy (also known as a shellfish allergy) is a type of food allergy, specifically an adverse immune response to a food protein found in seafood.[1][2][3]

This hypersensitivity, to the proteins found in shellfish, scaly fish, or crustaceans, causes an overreaction of the immune system, which, for millions of people, may lead to severe physical symptoms, including anaphylaxis.[4][5] The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates that the majority of pediatric and adult food allergy patients have a seafood allergy.[6] It occurs mainly (but not exclusively) in adults.

Allergic reactions may result when the susceptible person is not consuming the allergenic substance, by exposure to vapours resulting from cooking of seafood or even preparation or handling.[7]


Seafood allergies are usually treated with an exclusion diet and vigilant avoidance of foods that may be contaminated with shellfish or fish ingredients and/or oils. The most severe seafood allergy can cause a reaction called anaphylaxis,[8] which is an emergency, requiring immediate attention. It is treated with Epinephrine (US name) /Adrenaline (UK, Aus, S.Afr name), which can be administered with an EpiPen.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. 
  2. ^ "Allergy Glossary of Terms". Revolution Health. 
  3. ^ "Shellfish allergy causes - Mayoclinic". 
  4. ^ National Institutes of Health, NIAID Allergy Statistics 2005
  5. ^ Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America 2005
  6. ^ “Allergy Facts and Figures,” Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
  7. ^ "Seafood* (Fish, Crustaceans and Shellfish) - One of the nine most common food allergens". Canadian Food Inspection Agency. 2009-06-12. Retrieved 2009-06-21. 
  8. ^ National Report of the Expert Panel on Food Allergy Research, NIH-NIAID 2003

External links[edit]