Description of Sunflower Seed–Fungus Syndrome

Author: 

Lara S, Sobrevía M, Bartolomé B, Marqués L, Alcoceba E, Almacellas J, Marín JP.
J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2015;25(6):449-51.

Abstract: 

Patients with respiratory allergy to fungi present symptoms when they inhale fungal particles present in air [1]. However, within this group, we have identified patients with the same symptoms when they ingest sunflower seeds, even though they are not sensitized to the seeds.

Since many foods undergo natural fermentation processes and become contaminated by organisms such as fungi [2], we hypothesized that sunflower seeds could also be contaminated and that fungi-allergic patients would therefore present symptoms when they were exposed to fungi-contaminated sunflower seeds.