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Thread: Tick Bites and Risk of Alpha-Gal Allergy

  1. #1

    Tick Bites and Risk of Alpha-Gal Allergy

    There is recent increasing global awareness of a potentially life threatening allergic reaction that could apply to deer stalkers and others! But, as a keywords search didn’t show it to be in The Stalking Directory, here is my personal take on the topic, as a retired life scientist and recreational deer stalker.

    Alpha-gal (𝛂gal)* is a ‘sugar’ not normally found in humans. But, if it is ‘inoculated’ through an 𝛂gal infected tick bite, the deer stalker may become medically at risk from eating some meats (not poultry or fish)!

    On Facebook the thread ‘Alpha-Gal Allergy Awareness’ is a useful starting point (1.).

    Most of us are aware of nut allergies, particularly in children and the risk of having an extreme anaphylactic reaction, requiring urgent first-aid medical an injection into the thigh with an ‘EpiPen’ containing adrenaline, followed by 999 call to summon an ambulance.

    The same principles would apply here to anyone suspected as being infected and showing an untypical reaction to cooked or raw meat or who have indeed been diagnosed as having an alpha-gal acquired allergy.

    In some southern United States there are alpha-gal carrier ticks and several thousand alpha-gal sensitized patients.

    The question here is, has this alpha-gal antigen spread into the UK tick population and put us potentially at risk too?

    If you believe the article ‘With just one tick bite can give you a fatal allergy to meat’ by Martyn Halle in yesterday’s The Mail on Sunday, it was found in Dartmoor, some 3 years ago (2). There are also anecdotal reports of such meat allergies in patients attending allergy clinics in the Greater Glasgow area.

    I'd be particularly interested to learn more here through our medically qualified and other deer stalkers and their experiences, awareness of this topic.

    Cheers, K

    *Alpha-gal (𝛂gal) is the abbreviated term for a carbohydrate called galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose
    1 https://www.facebook.com/alpha.gal
    2 PressReader.com - Connecting People Through News

  2. #2
    Thank you for bringing this to the attention of the members of the SD site. This is a new one on me having never heard of this reaction to tick bite.
    Having had Lyme disease its something I do not wish to repeat, and as the autumn progresses and we venture out we should all remain vigilant when it comes to ticks and the diseases they can transmit.
    All grades of deer stalkers/hunters in the UK and overseas catered for. Level 2 DMQ signing off available. Over 30 years experience in the stalking/hunting industry. For friendly and professional help go to www.UKOutfitters.co.uk

    ZEISS PRO STALKER.

  3. #3
    "Alpha-gal allergy

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Alpha-gal allergies are a reaction to Galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, whereby the body is overloaded with immunoglobulin E antibodies on contact with the carbohydrate. Alpha-gal is found in all mammals apart from Old World monkeys and the apes (including humans).
    Bites from the lone star tick, which transfer this carbohydrate to the victim, have been implicated in the development of this delayed allergic response which is triggered by the consumption of mammalian meat products.[1] Despite myths to the contrary, an alpha-gal allergy does not require the afflicted to become a vegetarian, as poultry and fish do not trigger a reaction.[2]
    The allergy most often occurs in the central and southern United States, which corresponds to the distribution of the lone star tick.[3] In the Southern United States, where the tick is most prevalent, allergy rates are 32% higher than elsewhere.[4] However, as doctors are not required to report the number of patients suffering the alpha-gal allergies, the true number of affected individuals is unknown."

    Looks like a new one on me. Until now, I had never heard of it.

    I don't believe we have the tick that carries this allergy causer over here; but I could be wrong.




    I do believe, however, there are electronic devices, that don't cost a lot, that will keep them away.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by sikamalc View Post
    Thank you for bringing this to the attention of the members of the SD site. This is a new one on me having never heard of this reaction to tick bite.
    As the autumn progresses and we venture out we should all remain vigilant when it comes to ticks and the diseases they can transmit.
    +1
    I only heard about it within the last 10 days after it had been talked about on one of the Radio Scotland programmes.

    Ed

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by BearStalker View Post

    I don't believe we have the tick that carries this allergy causer over here; but I could be wrong.
    .............

    6 Britons have now suffered severe tick bite reactions | Daily Mail Online

    I ended up in A&E in winter 2007 with anaphylactic shock in a situation typical of those described, I have been in hospital since then, I now carry epi-pen and anti histamine, I have been symptom free for a couple of years now and avoid a couple of known triggers. I have removed hundreds of ticks from myself over the years, had antibiotics on two occasions following ring/target rash.

    I have seen two friends in a mess with lymes and I am thankful that GPs and medical professionals SEEM to be taking tick borne diseases more seriously, although they can be elusive and we have lots to learn still about these zoonosis.

    Well worth watching Doc Alan MacDonalds YouTube vids if you are interested in this subject area:

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