Allergen Sources Information and Advice

There are several databases of allergen sequences on the internet. The Allergen Nomenclature Subcommittee of the International Union of Immunological Societies (IUIS) makes the official list of peer-reviewed allergens available on the net.

The Allergome is based on the literature published since the early sixties and provides information on allergenic molecules for people working in allergy and immunology. The Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln contains a list of publicly known allergens.

The biotechnology information for food safety database contains accession numbers for food allergens, non-food allergens, and wheat gluten proteins. The Structural Database of Allergenic Proteins is a web server that integrates a database of allergenic proteins with various bioinformatics tools for performing structural studies related to allergens and characterization of their epitopes.

Nine specialized allergen databases have been critically reviewed and the need for a centralized allergen reference database has been pronounced. PROTALL is a European network of scientists with expertise relevant to studying the problems of food allergy. The PROTALL database contains biochemical and clinical information about plant food allergens.

The SAFE EU project studies apple allergy in great detail. InformAll, a concerted action project funded under the 5th Framework programme of the EU, was created to promote the provision of visible, credible food allergy information sources to consumers, the agri-food industry, allergic consumers, health professionals, and regulators.

The information that led to the structure-and function-based classification of food allergens can be found in several databases that specialize in protein structure, families, and superfamilies. The Protein Databank (PDB) currently holds almost 32 000 structures of biological macromolecules including crystal and solution structures of many important allergens.

SWISS MODEL is a fully automated protein structure homology-modeling server that makes protein modeling accessible worldwide. The PredictProtein server is a service for sequence analysis and structure prediction. After submission of a protein sequence, PredictProtein retrieves similar sequences in the database and predicts aspects of protein structure.

The CATH protein structure classification ( uses a novel hierarchical classification of protein domain structures, which clusters proteins at four major levels, class (C), architecture (A), topology (T) and homologous superfamily (H).

The SCOP database aims to provide a detailed and comprehensive description of the structural and evolutionary relationships between all proteins whose structures are known. Pfam, a protein family database, is a large collection of multiple sequence alignments covering many common protein domains and families.