Skip to main content


  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

Identification of Helianthus annuus allergens in subjects with allergy to sunflower

  • 1,
  • 2,
  • 1,
  • 3,
  • 1,
  • 2,
  • 3,
  • 4 and
  • 2
Clinical and Translational Allergy20144 (Suppl 2) :P14

  • Published:


  • Food Allergy
  • Urticaria
  • Storage Protein
  • Skin Prick Test
  • Angioedema


Sunflower seeds (Helianthus annuus) can trigger anaphylactic reactions, generalized urticaria, angioedema, oral allergy syndrome and other symptoms after ingestion. These reactions have been attributed to 2S albumins (SFA-8) and LTP (Hel a 3). We aimed to characterize the basophil response to storage proteins and oleosins from sunflower seed in patients allergic to sunflower.


The proteins 2S, 11S and oleosins were purified from a raw sunflower seed extract by FPLC/HPLC and identified by specific antibodies and peptide mass fingerprinting. We tested the immunological recognition of these proteins by basophil activation test (BAT). Four concentrations (1, 0.2, 0.1, 0.02 ì g/ml) of each protein and the sunflower roasted extract were used. Ten patients were selected by clinical history and skin prick test positive to commercial extract. Twelve subjects with skin prick test negative to commercial extract and not food allergy were included as controls.


All patients showed a positive basophil response to roasted extract. BAT was positive in 87.5% of cases for 2S albumin, 60% for oleosins, and 57.14% for 11S albumin. 50% of patients were positive to the 3 proteins, 37.5% only for 2S albumin and 12.5% for storage proteins (both 2S and 11S albumin). In 40% of controls the concentration 1 ì g/ml of 2S albumin induced low basophil activation.


All the sunflower allergens tested in our group of patients were able to induce basophil activation in a high percentage of cases. Storage proteins and oleosins are responsible for sunflower allergy in 50% of cases.

Authors’ Affiliations

Carlos Haya Hospital-IBIMA, Research Laboratory, Malaga, Spain
Carlos Haya Hospital, Allergy Service, Malaga, Spain
Infanta Leonor Hospital, Allergy Service, Madrid, Spain
Plant Biotechnology Institute, UPM-INIA, Madrid, Spain


© Mayorga et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.