Associate Professor of Medicine
Specialty Areas: alpha-gal meat allergy, food allergy, anaphylaxis, angioedema (swelling of face), asthma, urticaria (Hives), insect allergy, seasonal allergies
Chronology: BS: Wake Forest University, 1996; MD, PhD: Medical University of South Carolina (MSTP), 2004; Resident: University of Virginia, 2004-2007; Allergy/Immunology Fellow: University of Virginia, 2007-2009; Assistant Professor of Medicine: University of Virginia, 2009-2014; Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics: University of Virginia, 2014-2015; Associate Professor of Medicine: University of North Carolina, 2015-present.
Description of research and/or clinical interests: Dr. Commins sees patients in the UNC allergy clinic and maintains an active research laboratory. His primary research and clinical interest is the recently described red meat allergy. This unique food allergy appears to be brought on by tick bites and can develop at any time throughout life, even after many years of enjoying beef, pork or lamb. Patients develop an allergic response to the sugar alpha-gal and the resulting allergic reactions are often delayed 3-6 hours after eating mammalian meat. Dr. Commins often sees patients in the allergy clinic with difficult to diagnose food allergies or allergic reactions.
In the research laboratory, the primary questions being addressed related to the role of tick bites in developing this allergy. The focus is to understand how and why the allergy response occurs so that patients with this and other food allergies can be effectively treated.
Steinke JW, Platts-Mills TA, Commins SP. The alpha-gal story: lessons learned from connecting the dots. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015; 135:589-96.
Commins SP. Carbohydrates as allergens. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2015; 15:492-6.
Mozzicato SM, Tripathi A, Posthumus JB, Platts-Mills TA, Commins SP. Porcine or bovine valve replacement in 3 patients with IgE antibodies to the mammalian oligosaccharide galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2015; 2:637-8.
Commins SP, Wisniewski JA, Agrawal R, Heymann PW, Pomes A, Platts-Mills T, Workman L, Woodfolk JA. Analysis of cytokine production by peanut-reactive T cells identifies residual Th2 effectors in highly allergic children who received peanut oral immunotherapy. Clin Exp Allergy. 2015; 45:1201-13.
Platts-Mills TA, Schuyler AJ, Tripathi A, Commins SP. Anaphylaxis to the carbohydrate side chain alpha-gal. Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2015; 35:247-60.
Tripathi A, Commins SP, Heymann PW, Platts-Mills TA. Diagnostic and experimental food challenges in patients with non-immediate reactions to food. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2015; 135:985-7.
Commins SP, James HR, Stevens W, Pochan SL, Land MH, King C, Mozzicato S, Platts-Mills TA. Delayed clinical and ex vivo response to mammalian meat in patients with IgE to galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014; 134:108-115.
Tripathi A, Commins SP, Heymann PW, Platts-Mills TA. Delayed anaphylaxis to red meat masquerading as idiopathic anaphylaxis. J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2014; 2:259-65.
Kennedy JK, Stallings AP, Platts-Mills TAE, Oliveira W, Workman LT, James HR, Tripathi A, Lane CJ, Matos L, Heymann PW, Commins SP. Galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose and delayed anaphylaxis, angioedema, and urticaria in children. Pediatrics. 2013; 131:1545-52.
Commins SP, Platts-Mills TAE. Tick Bites and Red Meat Allergy. Curr Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology.2013; 13:354-9.
Posthumus J, James HR, Lane CJ, Matos LA, Platts-Mills TA, Commins SP. Initial description of pork-cat syndrome in the United States. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013; 131:923-25.
Hamsten C, Tran TA, Starkhammar M, Brauner A, Commins SP, Platts-Mills TA, van Hage M. Red meat allergy in Sweden: association with tick sensitization and B-negative blood groups. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013; 132:1431-4.
Commins SP, Platts-Mills TA. Delayed Anaphylaxis to Red Meat in Patients with IgE Specific for Galactose alpha-1,3-Galactose (alpha-gal). Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2013; 13:72-7.
Rispens T, Derksen NI, Commins SP, Platts-Mills TA, Aalberse RC. IgE Production to α-Gal Is Accompanied by Elevated Levels of Specific IgG1 Antibodies and Low Amounts of IgE to Blood Group B. PLoS One. 2013; 8:e55566.
Masilamani M, Commins SP, Shreffler W. Determinants of food allergy. Immunol Allergy Clin North Am. 2012; 32:11-33.
Mullins RJ, James HR, Platts-Mills TA, Commins SP. The relationship between red meat allergy and sensitization to gelatin and galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012; 129:1334-42.
Commins SP, James HR, Kelly LA, Pochan SL, Workman LJ, Perzanowski MS, Kocan KM, Fahy JV, Nganga LW, Ronmark E, Cooper PJ, Platts-Mills TAE. The relevance of tick bites to the production of IgE antibodies to the mammalian oligosaccharide galactose-α-1,3-galactose. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011; 127:1286-93.
Commins SP. Allergy to meat. In: UpToDate, Basow, DS (Ed.), UpToDate, Waltham, MA. (online)
Commins SP and Platts-Mills TAE. Anaphylaxis syndromes related to a new mammalian cross-reactive carbohydrate determinant. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009; 124:652-7.
Commins SP, Satinover SM, Hosen J, Mozena J, Borish L, Woodfolk JA, Platts-Mills T. Delayed anaphylaxis, angioedema, or urticaria after consumption of red meat in patients with IgE antibodies specific for galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose (alpha-gal). J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009; 123:426-433.