Herzinger, T.; Scharrer, E.; Placzek, M.; Przybilla, Bernhard
Contact urticaria to giraffe hair.
In: International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, No. 4: pp. 324-327
Background: Immediate-type hypersensitivity to animal proteins is a common problem in people occupationally exposed to animals. Methods: A 19-year-old female working as a voluntary zookeeper in her off-time suffered from hives on her forearms following contact to the fur of a giraffe. For diagnostic evaluation, skin prick tests, assessment of specific serum IgE antibodies, and basophil activation tests were performed. Results: Skin prick tests with a standard series of common aeroallergens were positive for various pollens. Prick testing with native materials was positive for extracts of hair from two different giraffe subspecies in the patient, but not in control subjects. By CAP-FEIA, no specific serum IgE antibodies to dander of a large variety of animals were found in the patient. In the basophil activation test, expression of the activation marker CD63 was induced by extract of giraffe hair on the cells from the patient, but not on those from unaffected controls. Conclusions: This patient suffers from an `exotic' immediate-type contact allergy to giraffe hair. Copyright (C) 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.