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Hum Immunol. 1992 Apr;33(4):259-65.

Association between IgE response against Bet v I, the major allergen of birch pollen, and HLA-DRB alleles.

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  • 1Institute for Blood Group Serology (National Blood Group Reference Laboratory), WHO, Vienna, Austria.


The association of the human IgE response against Bet v I, the major allergen of birch pollen, and the HLA-DR and DQ phenotype was studied. Birch pollen allergic patients showed a typical case history, positive skin-prick test, and positive RAST with birch pollen extracts. They were divided into two groups. Group I (n = 37) consisted of individuals generating IgE antibodies that selectively reacted with Bet v I. Their serum IgE did not react with minor allergens from birch pollen as tested by immunoblot analysis, nor did they show a response against allergens from a panel of grass and other tree pollen or perennial allergens from animals and fungi as determined by skin-prick test. Patients belonging to group II (n = 34) possessed IgE reacting with Bet v I plus one or more additional allergens. The control group consisted of 637 healthy blood donors. Comparison of the frequencies of RFLP-defined HLA-DR and DQ alleles in patients and the control group revealed that the distribution of DRB3 alleles in group I patients differed significantly from that in the control group: A higher frequency of the DRw52a/c alleles in comparison to the control group (pcorr less than 0.02) was observed. In addition, alleles defined by nucleotide sequences coding for the amino acid sequence tyrosine-phenylalanine-histidine at positions 30-32 of the beta chain of DR molecules were found with a higher frequency in patient group I (pcorr less than 0.02), too. These alleles comprise DRw52a/c and some DRB1 alleles.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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