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Alternaria alternata as an inducer of allergic diseases

Alternaria alternata has been widely described to infect a wide variety of crops, especially as a saprophyte or postharvest mold. But, it also has an important health impact as a trigger for allergies and asthma. However,it has not been as extensively studied due to the existing misdiagnosis of fungal allergies and the difficulties in identifying the fungal species responsible for airway diseases. Nevertheless, many authors point to Alternaria as one of the most relevant sources of aeroallergens, although information on the key players and/or molecular mechanisms by which the mold can induce allergy is still quite limited. In the present review we summarize the current knowledge on the immune response triggered by the mold, as well as its contribution to the exacerbation of other respiratory allergies, such as pollen allergy, and even to the development of food allergies (for example, kiwi allergy). In addition, special emphasis is placed on the role of Alt a 1, Alternaria's major allergen, as the main contributor to Alternaria sensitization and the current status of immunotherapies developed to overcome mold allergy.

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Original Paper:

Hernandez-Ramirez, G., Barber, D., Tome-Amat, J., Garrido-Arandia, M., Diaz-Perales, A. 2021. Alternaria as an Inducer of Allergic Sensitization. Journal of Fungi 7, 838. DOI: 10.3390/jof7100838

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