Characterization of bovine serum albumin epitopes and their role in allergic reactions

P. Restani, C. Ballabio, A. Cattaneo, P. Isoardi, L. Terracciano, A. Fiocchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This review provides updated information on conformational and sequential epitopes identified in bovine serum albumin (BSA) and summarizes available data about the role of structural modifications on BSA antigenicity/ allergenicity. Data sources: Data on beef allergy and BSA antigenicity are reported, with reference both to the basic literature and to clinical results obtained by our group. Results and discussion: BSA is an important allergen involved in milk and beef allergy. The presence of conformational epitopes has been suggested by indirect evidence, while at least one sequential epitope has been experimentally identified. The role of structural modifications on BSA antigenicity is discussed as well as the increased tolerance observed in allergic subjects consuming beef as strained (homogenized) and freeze-dried derivatives. Conclusion: Study of the molecular characteristics of a known major allergen allows the identification of technological processes that may be capable of improving the tolerance of allergic subjects to a specific food. Even though any hoped for reduced allergenicity must be verified under medical supervision, the use of new products could obviate the need to avoid important foods such as meat in childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-24
Number of pages4
JournalAllergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Supplement
Issue number78
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004


  • Beef allergy
  • Bovine serum albumin
  • Epitopes
  • Food allergy
  • Milk allergy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of bovine serum albumin epitopes and their role in allergic reactions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this