Background: Molecular biology techniques have led to the identification of a number of allergens in vegetable foods, but due to the lack of purified food proteins for routine diagnostic use, the detection of sensitizing allergens remains a nearly impossible task in most clinical settings. The allergen-resolved diagnosis of food allergy is essential because each plant-derived food may contain a number of different allergens showing different physical/chemical characteristics that strongly influence the clinical expression of allergy; moreover, many allergens may cross-react with homologue proteins present in botanically unrelated vegetable foods. Objective: Through a review of the available literature, this study aimed to detect ‘markers’ of sensitization to specific plant food allergens that are easily accessible in the clinical practice. Results: There are several ‘markers’ of sensitization to different allergenic proteins in vegetable foods that can be helpful in the clinical practice. Specific algorithms for patients allergic to Rosaceae and to tree nuts were built. Conclusion: Clinical allergologists lacking the assistance of an advanced molecular biology lab may take advantage of some specific clinical data as well as of some ‘markers’ in the difficult task of correctly diagnosing patients with plant food allergy and to provide them the best preventive advice.

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