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Updated September 22, 2009

Definition: Cross-reactivity is the ability of the immune system to recognize similarities between different allergens, such that allergic antibodies produced against one allergen will also react against another, similar allergen.
There is a significant amount of cross-reactivity among different shellfish; a person who is allergic to one type of shellfish, such as shrimp, is very likely to also be allergic to another type, such as lobster or crab.

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