Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2011 Nov-Dec;25(6):e225-31. doi: 10.2500/ajra.2011.25.3723.

Reliability of basophil activation test using CD203c expression in diagnosis of pollen allergy.

Author information

  • 1Division of Immunology and Allergy Diseases, Ankara University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey. secilkepil@gmail.com



CD203c is a basophil surface marker and its expression is rapidly up-regulated after cross-linking of high-affinity immunoglobulin E (IgE) receptor (FcepsilonR1) by an allergen. CD203c basophil activation tests have been studied for the in vitro diagnosis of several allergic conditions. However, there is limited data about its diagnostic usefulness. The optimum allergen concentrations for stimulation and allergen specific cutoff values remain unknown for a number of allergens. This study was designed to investigate the efficacy of basophil activation test via CD203c in the diagnosis of pollen allergy.


The CD203c basophil activation was determined in 31 allergic rhinitis patients with pollen allergy and 9 healthy nonatopic controls during the off-season. CD203c expression was evaluated using three-color staining protocol by flow cytometry.


After an in vitro stimulation with grass pollen extract, the CD203c assay clearly discriminated pollen-allergic patients from controls (p < 0.001). A dose-dependent increase in the percentages of CD203c-activated basophils was shown in rhinitis patients with pollen allergy (p < 0.001). The sensitivity and specificity was 100% and optimal cutoff values were 14.05 and 10.05% with 45.1 and 4.5 μg/mL Phl p 5 stimulation, respectively. Although the specificity was also 100%, the sensitivity was 93 and 87% and the cutoff values were 5.40 and 5.35% with 4.5 × 10(-4) and 4.5 × 10(-5) micrograms/mL Phl p 5 stimulation, respectively.


The CD203c basophil activation test seems to be a reliable tool in the diagnosis of grass pollen allergy. It could be used when conventional diagnostic tests fail or can not be performed.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Ingenta plc
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk