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Advanced proteomics and systems biology to study a food allergy

17th national competition for scientific and technical research

Food security and biotechnology

Senior Researcher : Mónica Carrera Mouriño

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Research Centre or Institution : Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas (IIM). CSIC. Vigo.


Fish is the third cause of food allergy in the whole world. In sensitised patients, the clinical symptoms are expressed as urticaria, rhinitis, gastrointestinal and respiratory problems, giving rise in the worst cases to anaphylactic shock minutes after ingestion. All species of fish are liable to cause allergies. Likewise, during the last 10 years there has been a marked increase in allergic reactions to parasites present in fish muscle, mainly to parasites of the Anisakis type. Diagnosing fish allergy and excluding fish from the diet is the only suitable treatment to prevent future reactions. Finding new therapies apart from simply suppressing ingestion of the allergenic food is the main aim of this project.

This research project is an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary proposal in which current Advanced Proteomic techniques and new Systems Biology tools will be used to develop new immuno-therapies for the treatment and control of fish allergy.

The two main objectives of this project are:

  • Advanced Proteomics using antigen epitopes. The design of peptide vaccines.
  • Systems Biology. In-Silico modelling of fish allergy.

In general, the results of this project will make it possible to achieve greater understanding of the molecular bases of a food allergy. Likewise, it is expected that these results will be used by scientific organisations as well as pharmaceutical industries and healthcare centres to identify, develop and use the new targets for pharmacological and therapeutic intervention (new vaccines).

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