Red meat allergies have been causally linked to bites from lone star ticks, but a correspondence published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology now also claims that both the vaccine made to protect people from experiencing painful cases of shingles and the vaccine designed to protect people from measles, mumps, and rubella may be associated with severe reactions involving people with meat-related allergies. This is very important information because it is speculated that giving these vaccines to people with this new allergy can trigger anaphylaxis that can lead to death.
Researchers had already pinpointed galactose-α-1,3-galactose (also known as alpha-gal) sensitivity as a cause of meat allergies. This increasingly-more-common sensitivity has been blamed on the lone star tick, according to the team of researchers from multiple allergy and immunology centers in the United States and Australia.
The team stated that they examined data that ended up linking the Zoster and the MMR vaccines to meat allergy concerns because gelatin and other mammal-derived ingredients are commonly found in several vaccines. They wondered if these increasingly frequent meat allergies might also cause problems from receiving the vaccines that contain these ingredients.
The team of researchers described an incident that happened with an existing allergy patient. The patient had a documented history of red meat allergy for years and had been exposed to lone star ticks. Things took a turn for the worse when she was given the shingles vaccine from her local pharmacy. She began experiencing symptoms a few minutes later. The symptoms started with a sensation of mental clouding and within five minutes, she experienced throat-tightness. She self-administered 50 mg of diphenhydramine. A half hour after getting the vaccine, she got emergency medical care. Historically, her anaphylactic events happened hours after eating foods she was allergic to. Blood tests showed she had allergies to beef, pork, and cow's milk before the shingles vaccination.