Science Alert describes the story of a 56-year-old farmer from Kansas who discovered that he developed a rash on his body after eating a hamburger. It turned out that the man had alpha-gal syndrome (AGS), a rare form of acquired allergy to mammalian meat. Allergies are acquired through a tick bite.
The farmer could not understand for a long time what caused the specific symptoms. He changed detergents and clothes, but the rash still appeared. The case of a man is not that uncommon. According to reports, approximately 3% of the population in some areas of the United States has symptoms associated with AGS.
The disease is the result of an allergic response to galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose, a carbohydrate found in all mammals except monkeys and humans. Alpha gal is transmitted to humans from a tick that previously sucked blood from a mammal. The human body begins to react to foreign cells with a surge of antibodies, which leads to the appearance of symptoms of an allergic reaction to meat.