Meat Allergy – Alpha-gal Allergy
Meat allergy, also known as alpha-gal allergy is an allergic reaction to galactose-alpha-1,3 galactose, when the body becomes overburdened with IgE antibodies (typically found in food allergies), on contact with this carbohydrate. This is the first known food allergy to a carbohydrate, as most are to proteins.
Lone Star tick bites can transfer this carbohydrate during the bite to the patient, and the development of a delayed allergic response can be triggered by consuming meat products. I have also seen this allergy arise in patients bitten by ticks other than the Lone Star tick.
Symptoms of IgE mediated allergies can include:
  • Severe itching
  • Hives
  • Angioedema
  • GI upset
  • Anaphylaxis
When the tick-borne disease is properly treated, generally symptoms of the allergic response diminish over time.