Scientists describe bloodworm allergen

88ff5b64-4852-4f78-be1d-908913a7eb34

Editor's Picks
Features Post
The brightest pupils
04 October 2021
Features Post
Dealing with egg ‘fungus’
04 October 2021
Features Post
Rathbun’s tetra in the wild
13 September 2021
Fishkeeping News Post
Report: 2021 BKKS National Koi Show results
13 September 2021
Features Post
The World's forgotten fishes
16 August 2021


Medical scientists have described an allergen found in bloodworms that may affect fishkeepers.

The paper, which has just been published in the Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology, describes the case of a 23-year old Spanish patient who became ill after feeding bloodworms to his fish.

His symptoms, which included a rash, rhinoconjunctivitis (a combination of rhinitis and conjunctivitis), breathlessness and difficulty swallowing, led to doctors trying to determine the cause of the allergic reaction.

After investigating a number of other allergens, ranging from mussel, squid, house dust and dust mites to prawns and mosquitos, the study eventually revealed that the man was allergic to Chironomid midges, and their larvae - bloodworms.

The study says that Chironomid allergies are rare and are only seen in those who handle bloodworms used for fish foods.

Practical Fishkeeping has previously printed a letter in the Ask the Experts column from a reader who suffered from the condition.

For more details see the paper: Cabrerizo Ballesteros S, de Barrio M, Baeza ML, Rubio Sots M (2006) - Allergy to chironomid larvae (red migde larvae) in non professional handlers of fish food. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2006; 16(1): 63-8.