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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2009;149(2):91-7. doi: 10.1159/000189190. Epub 2009 Jan 6.

Peanut allergy diagnosis in the context of grass pollen sensitization for 125 patients: roles of peanut and cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants specific IgE.

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  • 1Marcel Mérieux Laboratory, 17/19 Avenue Tony Garnier, Lyon FR-69007, France. allergie@lab-merieux.fr



In vitro testing for food allergy may yield clinically irrelevant results due to cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants (CCD) specific immunoglobulin E (sIgE) induced by pollen exposure. The performances of 2 in vitro methods were evaluated for peanut sIgE measurement in patients allergic to grass pollen with or without subsequent allergy to peanuts. The correlation between clinically irrelevant peanut sIgE and the presence of CCD sIgE was investigated.


In vitro measurement of peanut sIgE was performed using the Pharmacia ImmunoCap system Radio Immuno Assay (RIA) and the Immulite 2000 3gAllergy system. Discrepancies between in vitro results and peanut allergy diagnosis were evaluated by measurement of CCD sIgE using bromelain and ascorbic acid oxydase (AAO).


The sensitivity was 100% with both systems for the diagnosis of allergy to peanut (58 patients), nevertheless the specificity obtained with Immulite (73%) was better than that obtained using ImmunoCap (46%) in patients who were not allergic to peanuts, but who had a grass pollen allergy (n = 41). In 22 out of 41 patients who presented clinically irrelevant peanut sIgE results using ImmunoCAP, CCD sIgE was detected in 72% of the cases by bromelain and in 86% by AAO. In 11 patients out of 41 who presented irrelevant peanut sIgE results using Immulite, CCD sIgE was detected in 81% of the cases by bromelain and in 100% by AAO.


The Immulite 2000 system had better specificity than the ImmunoCap system for accurate diagnosis of peanut allergy in patients allergic to grass pollen. CCD sIgE was identified in most of the false-positive peanut sIgE results.

Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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