About COMPARE

The COMprehensive Protein Allergen REsource is a database comprised of protein sequences of known allergens. COMPARE was born from the foundational sequence list developed by FARRP Allergen Online database v.16, to which new sequences identified through the COMPARE process are added yearly. Allergens are identified via “rule-based” text sorting algorithms which scan through public sequence and literature repositories. An independent peer-review panel of allergy experts from the public sector reviews the candidate sequences from the automated sections and decides on the final content of the database. A sequence is selected only if it has literature supporting evidence of IgE binding. These rigorous and well-documented processes have been carefully designed to meet the requirements of regulatory agencies for allergy safety assessment.

COMPARE is equipped with a comparative sequence search tool called COMPASS (COMPare Analysis of Sequences with Software). Users can query the COMPARE database with their target sequence to produce amino acid sequence alignments to known allergens. The tool is oriented to the regulatory safety review of novel foods and feeds, and implementation of criteria to help establish whether relevant alignments have occured. 

 

Program Structure

The COMPARE database program is a collaborative effort of the HESI (Health and Environmental Sciences Institute) Protein Allergens, Toxins, and Bioinformatics (PATB) Committee (formerly “Protein Allergenicity Technical Committee” or PATC). The PATB is a public-private collaboration of scientists with a shared interest in improving confidence in the assessment of allergenicity in the context of safety evaluation of novel food and feed proteins.

The Steering Team combines programmatic support from the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Nutrition (https://jifsan.umd.edu/) at the University of Maryland, and significant in-kind support from multiple academic, government and industry scientists with expertise in protein allergenicity. This public-private HESI collaborative team has contributed to the database design, search algorithm decisions, and documentation on this website.  

The Peer Review Panel is comprised of external public-sector experts, who convene on an annual basis to review protein sequences identified through the automated selections and evaluate associated peer-reviewed publications to determine if the allergen candidates meet criteria for inclusion in the database. In a fully transparent manner, the expert panel documents the supporting data for each verified allergen of each PRP cycle in a Transparency file which can be accessed on the database Documentation page. Approved allergens are included in the COMPARE database along with their supporting literature containing evidence of allergenicity. The full peer review process and inclusion criteria are documented here: https://comparedatabase.org/process-development/

Steering Team 

  • Dexter Sapiter Ballerda, University of Maryland / JIFSAN
  • Laurent Beuf, Vilmorin & Cie
  • Supratim Choudhuri, U.S. FDA
  • Eva Gietl, KWS
  • Paul Guevara, University of Maryland / JIFSAN
  • John Kough, U.S. EPA
  • Eric Ma, Syngenta
  • Justin McDonald, Syngenta
  • Clare Narrod, University of Maryland / JIFSAN
  • Esmeralda Posada Campos, BASF
  • Andre Silvanovich, Bayer
  • Ping Song, Corteva Agriscience™
  • Ronald van Ree, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam 
  • Gao Zhongshan, Zhejiang University, China

Peer Review Panel

  • Gabriele Gadermaier, PhD, Paris-London University of Salzburg, Austria
  • Karin Hoffman-Sommergruber, PhD, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
  • Lars Poulsen, PhD, Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark
  • Suzanne Teuber, MD, University of California, Davis
  • Ronald van Ree, PhD, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam

Past Peer Review Panelist

  • Cecilia Berin, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, NY, USA (for COMPARE 2017 and COMPARE 2018 versions)

About HESI

HESI, the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute, is a non-profit, global scientific organization dedicated to developing science for a safer, more sustainable world. 

HESI’s mission is to collaboratively identify and help to resolve global health and environmental challenges through engagement of scientists from academia, government, industry, NGOs, and other strategic partners.

HESI was established in 1989 to provide an international forum to advance the understanding of scientific issues related to human health, toxicology, risk assessment, and the environment.