ImpARAS working group meeting June 2017

On 7-8th of June 2017, the 5th ImpARAS working group meeting was organized in Porto, Portugal.

58 ImpARAS members from industry, EFSA, universities and research institutes participated in the meeting. On the first day an update was given on the stakeholder meeting in Brussels (March 2017), where the Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) was presented and in vitro tools linked to the identified events were discussed with members from WG 2 and participants from industry. A paper will be drafted on these different in vitro assays. A second update was given on the digestion workshop held in conjunction with the Infogest conference in Rennes (April 2017). Different facets in food allergy and digestion are still unknown and need further study (literature or experimental). A position paper will be written to identify the gaps in the information needed to develop a good predictive digestion model or to exclude the test in allergenicity assessment. The participants were also updated on the activities of WG 4: “defining allergenicity and implications for method development and risk management”. WG 4 aims to publish a paper on this topic.

The afternoon was dedicated to activities and discussions on topics of WG1: The session started with 4 presentations on the short term scientific missions (STSM) of WG 1: Production of tropomyosin of shrimp and chicken (native and recombinant) and the comparison of these two in biological and physiological (digestion) tests. During the discussion rounds, members from the 4 WGs were mixed and the following items were discussed:

  • Pair of allergens: What are the endpoints that could be measured for e.g. digestion, thermal stability, antibody binding assays?
  • Bioinformatics: How can bioinformatics help us to discriminate between allergenic versus non allergenic molecules from a given protein family?
  • For experimental procedures: Quality parameters of pure protein batches to perform analyses? (free from LPS, quantity, level of purity,…?).
  • Allergen / protein Interaction with immune cells: what is the difference between an allergenic versus non-allergenic protein?

These questions led to very interesting discussions. The results of these discussions and the presentations will be shared on the ImpARAS website (

On the second day, the morning session was dedicated to WG 3 and different items of an animal study, such as protein/ extract panel, animal strain, dosing, readout, and sample collection, were discussed, since WG3 would like to set up an animal model to predict sensitization and perform a ring trial with 5 different laboratories. In this ring trial the effect of microbiota will also be investigated. A second activity is a paper on readouts of in vivo models and the comparison with readouts of in vitro models.

Future meetings:
10-12 Oct 2017 Conference Helsingør, Denmark
31 Nov-2 Dec 2017 Training school proteomics & allergenicity assessment, Liege, Belgium
Feb 2018 : Working group meeting in Greece (place and date to be determined)
Spring 2018: Stakeholder meeting WG4 in Brussels, Belgium (place and date to be determined)

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