Secret vegetarian recruiting tool: tick bites!

Sci-News reveals one more weapon in the war on carnivores – tick bites that trigger allergies to red meat:

Delayed anaphylaxis – a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction – to meat is a new syndrome identified initially in the southeastern United States. Patients may wake up in the middle of the night, with hives or anaphylaxis usually three to six hours after having eaten red meat for dinner.

Until recently, the link between red meat ingestion and anaphylaxis had remained elusive.

Dr [Susan] Wolver, Dr [Diane] Sun and colleagues’ [from Virginia Commonwealth University] analysis of three patient case studies sheds light on this reaction. It is thought to be caused by antibodies to a carbohydrate (alpha-gal) that are produced in a patient’s blood in response to a tick bite, specifically the Lone Star tick, Amblyomma americanum. This carbohydrate substance is also present in meat.