Mittermann et al.: Recombinant allergen-based IgE testing to distinguish bee and wasp allergy

Mittermann, I; Zidarn, M; Silar, M; Markovic-Housley, Z; Aberer, W; Korosec, P; Kosnik, M; Valenta, R

Recombinant allergen-based IgE testing to distinguish bee and wasp allergy.

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010; 125(6):1300-1307 PUBMED full text full text MUG-login

BACKGROUND: The identification of the disease-causing insect in venom allergy is often difficult. OBJECTIVE: To establish recombinant allergen-based IgE tests to diagnose bee and yellow jacket wasp allergy. METHODS: Sera from patients with bee and/or wasp allergy (n = 43) and patients with pollen allergy with false-positive IgE serology to venom extracts were tested for IgE reactivity in allergen extract-based tests or with purified allergens, including nonglycosylated Escherichia coli-expressed recombinant (r) Api m 1, rApi m 2, rVes v 5, and insect cell-expressed, glycosylated rApi m 2 as well as 2 natural plant glycoproteins (Phl p 4, bromelain). RESULTS: The patients with venom allergy could be diagnosed with a combination of E coli-expressed rApi m 1, rApi m 2, and rVes v 5 whereas patients with pollen allergy remained negative. For a group of 29 patients for whom the sensitizing venom could not be identified with natural allergen extracts, testing with nonglycosylated allergens allowed identification of the sensitizing venom. Recombinant nonglycosylated allergens also allowed definition of the sensitizing venom for those 14 patients who had reacted either with bee or wasp venom extracts. By IgE inhibition studies, it is shown that glycosylated Api m 2 contains carbohydrate epitopes that cross-react with natural Api m 1, Ves v 2, natural Phl p 4, and bromelain, thus identifying cross-reactive structures responsible for serologic false-positive test results or double-positivity to bee and wasp extracts. CONCLUSION: Nonglycosylated recombinant bee and wasp venom allergens allow the identification of patients with bee and wasp allergy and should facilitate accurate prescription of venom immunotherapy.