By Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Certain tick bites can cause a red meat allergy, and now scientists are shedding new light on the condition, known as alpha-gal syndrome.
Alpha-gal is a sugar found in most mammal blood, but not in humans.
"Our original hypothesis was that humans developed the allergy after being exposed to alpha-gal through a tick that had fed on a deer, dog or other small mammal that has alpha-gal," said researcher Scott Commins.
When people develop an allergic immune response to alpha-gal, it can lead to a red meat allergy, explained Commins, who is an associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill.
"This new data suggests that ticks can induce this immune response without requiring the mammal blood meal, which likely means the risk of each bite ...