Chitin and chitinases in allergic reactions

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Chitin - the structural component of fungal cell wall, arthropodal exoskeleton, microfilarial sheat and egg of helminths. Allergens of this organisms cause allergic diseases. The potential role of chitin in allergic reactions has been discussed. Other studies have suggested that chitin preparations may skew immunity away from T-helper-2-mediated allergic responses. Chitinases, enzymes that can degrade chitin polymer, and chitinase-like proteins might also play an important role in allergic disease pathogenesis.


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