DISCLAIMER:This page is not intended to be medical advice. It is infomation from various sources (as referenced), and may be formatted in a more understandable way. The presence of any article, book, or document does not imply an endorsement of, or concurrence.
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AntigensAntigens are Invaders. or anything our body thinks is an invader
AntibodiesAntibodies are defenders.
Alpha-Gal and The Alpha-Gal Syndrome (AGS):
Is an allergic reaction associated with bites from; ticks, chiggers, flies and other blood sucking insects.1, 2, 3, 10
Is characterized by a hypersensitivity to the oligosaccharideOligosaccharides are carbohydrates that contain two or more than two monosaccharides (2-10 units of monosaccharides). Based on the number of sugar units they contain, they are of different types. Trisaccharides, tetrasaccharides, pentasaccharides, etc. galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose (also labeled as galactose-α-1,3-galactose) (Alpha-Gal or α-Gal) antigen.In this case the antigen is a carbohydrate molecule epitope. which is another name for a sugar molecule.4
Can be amplified (made worse) by an increased count of Alpha-Gal epitopes.An epitope is the part of the antigen that binds to a specific antigen receptor on the surface of a B cell.7
Can be controlled (modulated) by immunoglobulin E (IgE).CDC-1 which is one of 5 types of immunoglobulins (antibodies) produced by our plasma cells.NIH-1
Has been fatal for some of those receiving Cetuximab for cancer treatment.6
May be an opportunity for crazy science experiments on humans.8
The AGS carbohydrate molecule is also considered a sugar found in the tissues of all mammals except humans and other primates. It is also known as mammalian meat allergy, Alpha-Gal allergy, red meat allergy, and tick bite meat allergy.Yale-1
When people who are allergic to Alpha-Gal eat beef, pork, lamb, or meat from other mammals, they have an allergic reaction that causes a range of symptoms, including a rash, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Symptoms usually occur three to six hours after eating. In some cases, people may have an immediate life-threatening anaphylactic reaction that requires medical attention.Yale-1
Humans lack the enzyme necessary to process and break down the Alpha-Gal molecule found in mammals. Therefore, any Alpha-Gal we ingest through red meat or potentially from tick bites remains largely unprocessed in our bodies and winds up acting like a foreign substance (an antigen).NIH-3
It is important to note that a portion of the ingested Alpha-Gal is likely excreted through waste, even without complete processing. Additionally, some gut bacteria may play a role in partially degrading the molecule.
The overall fate of Alpha-Gal in the human body is still an area of active research, with scientists investigating the specific mechanisms involved in its interaction with the immune system and elimination from the body.
Getting into the weeds:
If you care to dig deeper into how the antigens and the antibodies interact, start with the α-Gal epitopeAn epitope is the part of the antigen that binds to a specific receptor on the surface of a B cell."B-1, which refers to the carbohydrate α-d-Galp-(1 → 3)-β-d-Galp-(1 → 4)-d-GlcNAc-R NIH-4, NIH-5