An allergen is a substance that can cause an allergic reaction. In some people, the immune system recognizes allergens as foreign or dangerous. As a result, the immune system reacts by making a type of antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE) to defend against the allergen. This reaction leads to allergy symptoms.
Common allergens include:
Stewart GA, Robinson C. The structure and function of allergens. In: Burks AW, Holgate ST, O'Hehir RE, et al, eds. Middleton's Allergy: Principles and Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 26.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 2/2/2023
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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