AF056: Serum albumin

List allergens from this family:

Routes of exposure:
Include only IUIS approved allergens.

Biochemical properties

A number of serum transport proteins are known to be evolutionarily related, including albumin, α-fetoprotein, vitamin D-binding protein and afamin [1]. Albumin is the main protein of plasma. It binds water, cations (such as Ca2+, Na+ and K+), fatty acids, hormones, bilirubin and drugs. Its main function is to regulate the colloidal osmotic pressure of blood.

Allergens from this family

Allergic sensitization to serum albumin can occur by inhalation as well as ingestion [2]. Serum albumins are found in dander and saliva and are important inhalant allergens of cat (Fel d 2), dog (Can d 3), horse (Equ d 3), and cattle (Bod d 6). Bovine serum albumin (Bos d 6) is capable of sensitizing by inhalation or by ingestion of beef or cow's milk [3]. Chicken serum albumin, also named α-livetin or Gal d 5, is a major egg allergen and is also responsible for the bird-egg syndrome, the cross-reactivity between ingested egg allergens and inhaled feather and dander allergens [4].



  1. Lichenstein HS, Lyons DE, Wurfel MM, Johnson DA, McGinley MD, Leidli JC, Trollinger DB, Mayer JP, Wright SD, Zukowski MM:
    Afamin is a new member of the albumin, alpha-fetoprotein, and vitamin D-binding protein gene family.
    J Biol Chem 1994, 269, 18149-54. [PubMed]
  2. Spitzauer S:
    Allergy to mammalian proteins: at the borderline between foreign and self?
    Int Arch Allergy Immunol 1999, 120, 259-69. [PubMed] [Full Text]
  3. Restani P, Ballabio C, Cattaneo A, Isoardi P, Terracciano L, Fiocchi A:
    Characterization of bovine serum albumin epitopes and their role in allergic reactions.
    Allergy 2004, 59 Suppl 78, 21-4. [PubMed] [Full Text]
  4. Quirce S, Maranon F, Umpierrez A, de las Heras M, Fernandez-Caldas E, Sastre J:
    Chicken serum albumin (Gal d 5*) is a partially heat-labile inhalant and food allergen implicated in the bird-egg syndrome.
    Allergy 2001, 56, 754-62. [PubMed]


Links to Pfam

Family-defining Pfam domains (at least one of these domains is present in each family member):

Pfam domain Pfam clan
PF00273 Serum albumin family CL0282 Serum albumin superfamily

Links to Wikipedia


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