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Allergy. 2010 Sep;65(9):1189-95. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2010.02334.x. Epub 2010 Feb 8.

IgE to peanut allergen components: relation to peanut symptoms and pollen sensitization in 8-year-olds.

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  • 1National Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. anna.asarnoj@ki.se

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Allergen-specific IgE testing is often performed with crude peanut extract, but the results may be difficult to interpret because of cross-reactions between peanut and other plant allergens. The aim was to investigate IgE reactivity to peanut allergen components in children from a birch-rich region in relation to pollen sensitization and peanut symptoms.

METHODS:

From a birth cohort, clinical parameters were obtained through questionnaires and IgE antibody levels to peanut and birch pollen were measured. Different peanut/birch sensitization phenotypes were defined among 200 selected children. IgE reactivity to peanut and pollen allergen components was analysed using microarray technique.

RESULTS:

Peanut symptoms were reported in 87% of the children with IgE reactivity to any of the peanut allergens Ara h 1, 2 or 3 but not to Ara h 8 (n = 46) vs 17% of children with IgE reactivity to Ara h 8 but not to Ara h 1, 2 or 3 (n = 23), P < 0.001. Furthermore, symptoms were more severe in children with Ara h 1, 2 or 3 reactivity. Children with IgE reactivity both to Ara h 2 and to Ara h 1 or 3 more often reported peanut symptoms than children with IgE only to Ara h 2 (97%vs 70%, P = 0.016), particularly respiratory symptoms (50%vs 9%, P = 0.002).

CONCLUSIONS:

IgE analysis to peanut allergen components may be used to distinguish between peanut-sensitized individuals at risk of severe symptoms and those likely to have milder or no symptoms to peanut if sensitized to pollen allergens and their peanut homologue allergens.

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