Allergic contact urticaria and rhinitis to roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in a hunter

Source: Spiewak R, Dutkiewicz J. Allergic contact urticaria and rhinitis to roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in a hunter. Ann Agric Environ Med 2002; 9 (1): 115-116.


Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) is one of the most common game mammals in Europe, where hundreds of thousands people are exposed to this animal. Despite this fact, we are aware of only two cases of allergy to roe deer published until recently, one case of allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma and the second of contact urticaria. We describe another case with co-existing allergic contact urticaria and rhinitis in a 55-year old male professional hunter.

The symptoms were provoked only by exposure to roe deer, and there were no other past or present allergic diseases. Specific IgE was found to following animal allergens: cow dander (CAP class 5), goat epithelium and horse dander (each CAP class 4), dog epithelium, dog dander and swine epithelium (each CAP class 2). Skin prick tests have shown positive reaction only to cow epithelium (+). Because of lack of deer dander allergen for specific IgE and skin tests, we have confirmed the causal relationship between exposure to roe deer and allergy using the rub test with roe deer's fur. There was a clearly positive urticarial reaction on the patient's skin accompanied by nasal itch, sneezing and rhinorrhea. No reaction was seen in a control person. We surmise that the positive tests with cow epithelium seen in this patient may result from a cross-reactivity to deer allergens.

We conclude that although occupational allergies to roe deer seem to be rare, such possibility should be always considered among people having contact with these animals.

Key words: occupational allergy, contact urticaria, allergic rhinitis, roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), hunter.

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