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<h1>The Briefing: Tickborne meat allergy </h1><section class="abstract"><p>A lot of research goes into our stories. Here are some of the resources we used to put together our story on tickborne meat allergies.&nbsp;</p>
</section><p>Meat allergy is real and it’s turning lives upside down. It’s spread by tick&nbsp;bites that leave people sensitive to a protein called alpha-gal, which is found in mammalian meat. The allergy dictates what people can eat and wear, how they relax, and even which medicines are safe. In <a href="/story/mammalian-meat-allergy-alpha-gal-allergic-lone-star-tick-bite">this feature for Mosaic</a>, Maryn McKenna hears how meat allergies could be spreading more quickly than we might think.</p>
<p>If you want to know more, this reading list gets deeper into some of the themes from Maryn’s story.</p>

<h3>Alpha-gal allergy</h3>

<p>This <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4600073/">2015 paper</a> explains how tick bites were found to be the only significant cause of previously unexplained meat allergies.</p>
<p>Climate change is playing a role in the northward expansion of alpha-gal allergy, as explored in this <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/tick-borne-diseases-on-the-rise-thanks-to-global-warming/">2014 article</a>.</p>
<p>Dr Scott Commins was instrumental in identifying tick bites as the cause of alpha-gal allergy. In <a href="https://www.allergicliving.com/2014/08/21/interview-on-alpha-gal-red-meat-allergy-caused-by-tick-bites/">this video interview</a>, and also <a href="https://www.med.unc.edu/medicine/news/chairs-corner/podcast/alpha-gal">in this podcast</a>, Commins explains how alpha-gal allergy differs from other food allergies.</p>

<h3>How to prevent tick bites, and what to do if you have one</h3>

<p><a href="https://www.cdc.gov/Ticks/avoid/on_people.html">This advice</a>, offered by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention<em>, </em>explains the basics of avoiding tick bites.</p>
<p><a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alpha-gal-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20428608">This overview</a> of alpha-gal syndrome shows how to recognise symptoms and advises on when to consult a doctor.</p>
<p>For more information about the tick that causes alpha-gal allergy in the USA, the lone star tick – including how to recognise one, signs of infestations and how to prevent them – head to <a href="https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/ticks/lone-star-ticks/">this help page</a>.</p>

<h3>Stories</h3>

<p>This <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5822700/">2018 paper</a> follows a specific patient with alpha-gal allergy, from diagnosis through to management of the condition.</p>
<p><a href="https://www.health.com/allergy/tracy-anderson-tick-bite-meat-allergy">This interview</a> tells the story of Tracy, a personal trainer who developed alpha-gal syndrome aged 43.</p>
<p>Doug discovered he had alpha-gal syndrome in 2015, and started <a href="http://veganwithasideofchicken.com/about-me/my-story/">this blog</a> to support others with the same diagnosis.</p>

<h3>More from Mosaic </h3>

<p>In <a href="https://mosaicscience.com/story/why-do-we-have-allergies/">‘Why do we have allergies?’</a>, Carl Zimmer talks to a master immunologist with a controversial stance.</p>
<p>In Finland, people whose sickness is linked to certain buildings have struggled for doctors to recognise their condition as legitimate. Shayla Love asks, <a href="https://mosaicscience.com/story/sick-building-syndrome-buildings-or-people/">is it the buildings or the people who need treatment?</a></p>
<p><a href="https://mosaicscience.com/story/bushmeat-UK/">‘Will illegal bushmeat bring the next global outbreak?’</a> Akshat Rathi finds out.</p>

<p>Meat allergy is real and it’s turning lives upside down. It’s spread by tick&nbsp;bites that leave people sensitive to a protein called alpha-gal, which is found in mammalian meat. The allergy dictates what people can eat and wear, how they relax, and even which medicines are safe. In <a href="/story/mammalian-meat-allergy-alpha-gal-allergic-lone-star-tick-bite">this feature for Mosaic</a>, Maryn McKenna hears how meat allergies could be spreading more quickly than we might think.</p>
<p>If you want to know more, this reading list gets deeper into some of the themes from Maryn’s story.</p>

<h3>Alpha-gal allergy</h3>

<p>This <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4600073/">2015 paper</a> explains how tick bites were found to be the only significant cause of previously unexplained meat allergies.</p>
<p>Climate change is playing a role in the northward expansion of alpha-gal allergy, as explored in this <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/tick-borne-diseases-on-the-rise-thanks-to-global-warming/">2014 article</a>.</p>
<p>Dr Scott Commins was instrumental in identifying tick bites as the cause of alpha-gal allergy. In <a href="https://www.allergicliving.com/2014/08/21/interview-on-alpha-gal-red-meat-allergy-caused-by-tick-bites/">this video interview</a>, and also <a href="https://www.med.unc.edu/medicine/news/chairs-corner/podcast/alpha-gal">in this podcast</a>, Commins explains how alpha-gal allergy differs from other food allergies.</p>

<h3>How to prevent tick bites, and what to do if you have one</h3>

<p><a href="https://www.cdc.gov/Ticks/avoid/on_people.html">This advice</a>, offered by the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention<em>, </em>explains the basics of avoiding tick bites.</p>
<p><a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alpha-gal-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20428608">This overview</a> of alpha-gal syndrome shows how to recognise symptoms and advises on when to consult a doctor.</p>
<p>For more information about the tick that causes alpha-gal allergy in the USA, the lone star tick – including how to recognise one, signs of infestations and how to prevent them – head to <a href="https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/ticks/lone-star-ticks/">this help page</a>.</p>

<h3>Stories</h3>

<p>This <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5822700/">2018 paper</a> follows a specific patient with alpha-gal allergy, from diagnosis through to management of the condition.</p>
<p><a href="https://www.health.com/allergy/tracy-anderson-tick-bite-meat-allergy">This interview</a> tells the story of Tracy, a personal trainer who developed alpha-gal syndrome aged 43.</p>
<p>Doug discovered he had alpha-gal syndrome in 2015, and started <a href="http://veganwithasideofchicken.com/about-me/my-story/">this blog</a> to support others with the same diagnosis.</p>

<h3>More from Mosaic </h3>

<p>In <a href="https://mosaicscience.com/story/why-do-we-have-allergies/">‘Why do we have allergies?’</a>, Carl Zimmer talks to a master immunologist with a controversial stance.</p>
<p>In Finland, people whose sickness is linked to certain buildings have struggled for doctors to recognise their condition as legitimate. Shayla Love asks, <a href="https://mosaicscience.com/story/sick-building-syndrome-buildings-or-people/">is it the buildings or the people who need treatment?</a></p>
<p><a href="https://mosaicscience.com/story/bushmeat-UK/">‘Will illegal bushmeat bring the next global outbreak?’</a> Akshat Rathi finds out.</p>

<img src="https://mosaicscience.com/mwt-republish-img/1577/republish.gif" />This <a href="https://mosaicscience.com/story/briefing-meat-allergy-tick-treatment-symptoms-reaction-alpha-gal">article</a> first appeared on <a href="https://mosaicscience.com">Mosaic</a> and is republished here under a Creative Commons licence.
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