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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1996 May;97(5):1100-9.

Skin testing with recombinant allergens rBet v 1 and birch profilin, rBet v 2: diagnostic value for birch pollen and associated allergies.

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  • 1Pavillon Laennec, Hôpitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg, France.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study assesses the value of two recombinant birch allergens for diagnosis of patients sensitized to birch pollen with or without associated food allergy.

METHODS:

Fifty-one patients with positive skin test responses to Betulaceae and seven nonallergic control subjects were investigated; specific IgE antibodies were evaluated by specific immunoassay and blot immunodetection.

RESULTS:

Among 51 patients, 47 reacted to rBet v 1 and 10 to rBet v 2. Seven patients reacted to both recombinant allergens. In skin prick tests we found a correlation between the wheal produced by the commercial birch extract and the wheal produced by rBet v 1. Among 47 patients with positive test responses to rBet v 1, 83% had IgE binding to the Bet v 1 protein as determined by immunoblotting. Among 10 patients sensitized to rBet v 2, six had IgE binding to Bet v 2. Eleven patients with negative results, as determined by immunoblotting, had low levels of birch IgE in the sera (less than 10 kU/L) and low concentrations of IgE to rBet v 1 or rBet v 2 in ELISA. The nonallergic control subjects (n = 7) did not react to rBet v 1 or rBet v 2 in skin prick tests, nor did they have detectable amounts of specific IgE to rBet v 1 or rBet v 2. Histamine release tests confirmed sensitization to Bet v 1 in two patients with discordant results; for Bet v 2, one patient had positive results only at a high concentration, and one had results that remained negative. Thirty-four patients had birch pollinosis, and all reacted to rBet v 1. Patients who were monosensitized to birch never reacted to rBet v 2. Sensitization to rBet v 2 was only found in patients who reacted to other pollens (mainly grass). Twenty-nine patients demonstrated allergy to apples, cherries, or hazelnuts; and all reacted to rBet v 1. Among 11 patients with allergy to Umbelliferae, only three reacted to rBet v 2.

CONCLUSIONS:

Use of the two recombinant allergens (rBet v 1 and rBet v 2) always permits the diagnosis of birch sensitization. Sensitization to rBet v 1 is specific for birch and Rosaceae allergies, whereas sensitization to birch profilin, Bet v 2, is encountered in multisensitized subjects and is not always related to Umbelliferae allergy.

PMID:
8626988
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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