Substance Info: (and synonyms)
Squid (Mollusc) / Calamari

Background Info:

A 10-armed cephalopod with a chitinous internal shell (cuttle). Ink-secreting glands cloud the water for escape purposes. Can be aggressive. Served in many seafood dishes and used as bait. Very important food in Japan.

Squid allergen is a 38 kd, heat-stable protein. (Miyazawa 1996 ref.79 294)
Allergen - Tod p I.


Adverse Reactions:


[ 1 / 12 ]

A 75-year-old man ingested salted fish guts made of Sagittated calamari which he caught in the daytime, with alcohol and then dozed. Five hours later, he woke up due to itching over his entire body and noticed generalized urticaria and a swollen tongue, which was too large for him to close his mouth. Serum total IgE was 456 IU/ml and ImmunoCAP was positive for anisakis, but negative for squid, shrimp, and ascaris. A skin prick test (SPT) was positive for anisakis extract (10 mg/ml) and house dust mites, but negative for squid and shrimp. He was diagnosed with IgE-mediated allergy due to Anisakis simplex after the ingestion of salted fish guts made of Sagittated calamari, which had been parasitized by Anisakis simplex. SPT with six extracts of purified or recombinant allergens (Ani s 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8) was performed to identify the causative allergens in this case. Only Ani s 3 (tropomyosin) was positive, indicating that Ani s 3 was the causative allergen in this case. Third stage larvae of the nematode Anisakis simplex often parasitize not only marine fish but also invertebrates, including squid. It is necessary to consider Anisakis simplex allergy for urticarial reactions that develop after the ingestion of squid. (Shigehira 2010 ref.24657 5)

Shigehira Y, Inomata N, Nakagawara R, Okawa T, Sawaki H, Nakamura K, Kobayashi Y, Shiomi K, Ikezawa Z. A case of an allergic reaction due to Anisakis simplex after the ingestion of salted fish guts made of Sagittated calamari: allergen analysis with recombinant and purified Anisakis simplex allergens. [Japanese] Arerugi 2010 Jan;59(1):55-60

[ 2 / 12 ]

Immunological contact urticarial and/or protein contact dermatitis. Classically, the protein sources are divided into 4 main groups: group 1: fruits, vegetables, spices, plants, and woods; group 2: animal proteins; group 3: grains and group 4: enzymes. Taking into account the nature of the causal proteins, a wide variety of jobs can be affected. (Amaro 2008 ref.20923 7)

Amaro C, Goossens A. Immunological occupational contact urticaria and contact dermatitis from proteins: a review. Contact Dermatitis 2008 Feb;58(2):67-75.

[ 3 / 12 ]

Barnacle allergy is a rare condition. This study reports on the clinical and laboratory data of five patients, ages ranging from 2 to 29 years, with documented IgE-mediated allergy to barnacle. All patients had mite-related asthma and the allergic rhinoconjunctivitis; they all experienced mucocutaneous symptoms upon the ingestion of cooked barnacles. All of them had positive SPT to barnacle, and the immunoblotting showed several allergenic fractions with a wide molecular weight range (19 - 94 kDa). Patients 1 to 3 were all children who had symptoms upon their first ingestion of barnacle. Patient 3 also had symptoms related to the ingestion of shrimp, snail, squid and cuttlefish; patient 4 also experienced anaphylaxis with shrimp, and patient 5 had symptoms upon the ingestion of all other Crustacea, snail and octopus. All of them tolerated bivalves. (Marinho 2006 ref.16674 5)

Marinho S, Morais-Almeida M, Gaspar A, Santa-Marta C, Pires G, Postigo I, Guisantes J, Martinez J, Rosado-Pinto J. Barnacle allergy: allergen characterization and cross-reactivity with mites. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2006;16(2):117-22.

[ 4 / 12 ]

Anaphylactic reactions after consumption of squid by patients sensitized to house dust mites have been reported several times. A child allergic to dust mites developed an angioneurotic edema after eating squid. Prick test, labial test and IgE RAST revealed an allergy associated to both dust mites (class 4) and squid (class 3). A strongly positive labial challenge with labial oedema, swelling and intense itching was reported. (Petrus 1999 ref.14066 5)

Petrus M, Nyunga M, Causse E, Chung E, Cossarizza G. Allergy to squid and acari in a child. [French] Arch Pediatr 1999 Oct;6(10):1075-6.

[ 5 / 12 ]

Occupational allergy to squid, including an individual with food allergy to shrimp. (Tabka 1998 ref.16377 8)

Tabka F, Choudat D, Vacher JG, Thomas-Alliel S, Martin JC, Conso F. Allergie immediate au calmar Deux observations. Revue Francaise d Allergologie et d Immunologie Clinique 1998;38 (8):713-715

[ 6 / 12 ]

Specific IgE has been measured in patients with atopic dermatitis. (Lindqvist 1992 ref.369 14)

Lindqvist A, Ikezawa Z, Tanaka A, Yman L. Seafood specific IgE in atopic dermatitis. Amer Col Allergy Immunol 1992;57

[ 7 / 12 ]

Interstitial cystitis. (Yamada 1992 ref.213 25)

Yamada M, Torii S. Clinical evaluation of Pharmacia CAP System new food and inhalant allergens. [Abstract] Japanese Soc Allergol 1992 (paper d)

[ 8 / 12 ]

Eleven Japanese patients with food-dependent, exercise-induced anaphylaxis were studied. Seven patients experienced anaphylactic symptoms only after eating certain foods, such as shellfish, wheat, and grape before exercise. In the remaining four patients, no specific food could be identified, but the act of eating itself predisposed to anaphylaxis. Six patients had increased serum IgE levels, and IgE antibodies against the causative food allergens were detected by the skin prick test or RAST in four cases. In contrast, patients who developed the symptoms after 30 years of age (N = 4) appeared to have a less atopic background, and IgE levels were within normal range except in one case. Three of four patients in the latter group developed symptoms after ingesting food made of wheat followed by exercise. All patients were sensitive to wheat as determined by the skin prick test. Only one individual reported symptoms for abalone, resulting in pruritis with exercise. Although various foods have been reported as allergens, including wheat, shellfish, vegetables, nuts and fish, wheat is the most frequent causative food in Japan. (Dohi 1991 ref.451 89)

Dohi M, Suko M, Sugiyama H, Yamashita N, Tadokoro K, Juji F, Okudaira H, Sano Y, Ito K, Miyamoto T. Food-dependent, exercise-induced anaphylaxis: a study on 11 Japanese cases. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1991;87:34-40

[ 9 / 12 ]

A case of exercise-induced anaphylaxis after eating both shrimp and squid. The 13 year old Japanese boy was sensitized to shrimp, squid, crab, octopus, clam and short-neck clam. (Miyake 1988 ref.14068 7)

Miyake T, Kawamori J, Yoshida T. A pediatric case of food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis. [Japanese] Arerugi 1988 Jan;37(1):53-6.

[ 10 / 12 ]

Possible exercise-induced anaphylaxis (from eating squid and shrimp together, with IgE measured to squid). (Mijake 1988 ref.490 23)

Mijake T, Kawamori J, Yoshida T. A pediatric case of food-dependent, exercise-induced anaphylaxis. Arerugi 1988;37:53-56

[ 11 / 12 ]

Allergic interstitial cystitis caused by squid and shrimp hypersensitivity. (Yamada 1984 ref.2620 4)

Yamada T, Taguchi H, Nisimura H, Mita H, Sida T Allergic study of interstitial cystitis. (1) A case of interstitial cystitis caused by squid and shrimp hypersensitivity [Japanese] Arerugi 1984;33(5):264-8

[ 12 / 12 ]

Allergic Reactions to "Exotic" Natural Foods: A Selected List from Personal Clinical Observations (no other information supplied):
Common name -- Clinical symptoms
Kiwi fruit -- Anaphylaxis, angioedema
Pineapple -- Contact dermatitis, rhinitis, urticaria
Sea urchin -- Stomatitis, urticaria
Papaya -- Urticaria, colitis
Turtle -- Urticaria
Chickpea -- Urticaria, colitis
Fig -- Stomatitis, urticaria:
Squid -- Urticaria
Mango -- Urticaria, a ngi oedema
Pinon nut -- Anaphylasds, ang] oedema
Pomegranate -- Urticaria, rhinitis, asthma
(Falliers 1983 ref.211 37)

Falliers CJ. Anaphylaxis to Kiwi fruit and related "exotic" items. J Asthma 1983;20:193-196

Occupational reactions

[ 1 ]

Occupational allergy to squid, including an individual with food allergy to shrimp. (Tabka 1998 ref.16377 8)

Tabka F, Choudat D, Vacher JG, Thomas-Alliel S, Martin JC, Conso F. Allergie immediate au calmar Deux observations. Revue Francaise d Allergologie et d Immunologie Clinique 1998;38 (8):713-715

[ 2 ]

Occupational protein contact dermatitis in a 24-year-old female fishmonger. She presented with progressive episodes of dermatitis of the hands and forearms for 2 months. Symptoms were associated with cleaning baby squid, which resulted a few minutes ater starting with itching and erythema of the anterior forearms followed 2 days later with vesicles and maculopapular lesions. Prick tests with seafood other than cephalopods were negative. Prick by prick tests with baby squid (Loligo vulgaris) was positive, but negative to squid (Loligo vulgaris), pacific squid (Toradodes pacificus) and octopus (Octopus vulgaris). Patch test was positive to baby squid. (Garcia 1997 ref.2408 3)

Garcia-Abujeta JL, Rodriguez F, et al. Occupational protein contact dermatitis in a fishmonger. Contact Dermatitis 1997;36(3):163

[ 3 ]

Contact urticaria from Loligo japonica (Squid) in a 22-year-old male cook every time he handled uncooked calamari. He developed erythema, oedema, itching and burning on his hands. Symptoms started within 15-20 mins of contact. An open challenge of fresh calamari applied to his forearm provoked a reaction within minutes. A prick-by-prick test was positive. RAST was positive for Loligo japonica. (Valsecchi 1996 ref.2409 3)

Valsecchi R, Pansera B, et al. Contact urticaria from Loligo japonica. Contact Dermatitis 1996;35(6):367-8

[ 4 ]

Occupational allergic contact dermatitis from squid (Loligo opalescens) in an 18-year-old female. She developed eczema on her hands and forearms 1 month after starting work on cleaning frozen squid. Her symptoms worsened during the week and improved on weekends. Open patch test was negative but closed patch test was positive at 2 and 4 days to Loligo opalescens, though not to Loligo pealei. Patch tests with body, ink and tentacles of L. opalescens were postive at 2 and 4 days. (Goday 1991 ref.489 43)

Goday Bujan J, Aguirre A, Gil Ibarra N. Allergic contact dermatitis from squid (Loligo opalescens). Contact Dermatitis 1991;24:307

Information supplied from an abridged section of:
Allergy Advisor - Zing Solutions

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