Background: The alpha-gal syndrome (AGS) describes a new type I allergy entity to the carbohydrate epitope galactose-α-1,3-galactose (alpha-gal), which is mainly found in mammalian food products (e.g., beef, pork, and venison). Apart from meat products, alpha-gal can also be found in products containing gelatin of bovine or porcine origin. Recent case reports pointed to severe anaphylaxis in patients suffering from AGS after vaccination with vaccines containing hydrolyzed gelatin. It was the objective of this study to evaluate if basophil activation tests (BATs) performed with such vaccines were positive in patients with AGS. Methods: BAT was performed with different dilutions of a gelatin-containing measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) live vaccine; an attenuated varicella (V) vaccine; an attenuated V-zoster (VZ) vaccine; a MMR live vaccine not containing gelatin (non-gelatin MMR vaccine) in 2 patients with confirmed AGS, 2 patients highly suspicious for AGS, and 2 healthy individuals without any previous medical history for allergies. Results: All patients showed strongly positive results for all gelatin-containing vaccines (MMR vaccine, V vaccine, and VZ vaccine). Non-gelatin MMR vaccine was negative. The 2 healthy controls did not show any basophil activation. Conclusions: Gelatin-containing vaccines should be administered with caution or avoided in patients with AGS because of their high potential to activate basophils indicating a risk for anaphylaxis. Also, BAT is a useful additional tool when it comes to screening for potentially high-risk alpha-gal-containing drugs.

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