A most intriguing article by Moises Velasquez-Manoff showed up in this week’s NY Times magazine. It starts with the new data showing that meat allergy can be precipitated by a tick bite. Alpha-gal (Galactose-alpha-1,3,-galactose) is present in other mammals but not humans. So, if a tick transmits the antigen, we can become allergic to meat.
But the article goes much further using smooth prose to integrate findings from many studies, also asking why mean allergies are becoming more common now. Is it more tick bites? Or changed microbiomes? Wonderful science writing about evolutionary medicine.
What the Mystery of the Tick-Borne Meat Allergy Could Reveal
By Moises Velasquez-Manoff NY Times July 23, 2018
One spring evening in 2016, Lee Niegelsky’s underarm began to itch. An investment manager, he was doing housework around his condo, and he thought he’d been bitten by a chigger. But within 15 minutes, hives had erupted all over his body. He responded with what he calls a “typical man reaction” — if the hives didn’t clear up by the next day, he would have them checked. Fifteen minutes later, the itch had become unbearable. He needed help right away. …Read the article at NYTimes.com