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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2006;141(2):110-8. Epub 2006 Jul 21.

The major allergen of olive pollen Ole e 1 is a diagnostic marker for sensitization to Oleaceae.

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Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Química, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.



Trees of the family Oleaceae are important allergen sources, with a strongly varying geographic distribution. For example, olive pollen is an important allergen source in Mediterranean countries, whereas ash pollen dominates in Northern and Central Europe and North America. The aim of this study was to compare the profiles of olive and ash pollen allergens and to study the degree of cross-reactivity using populations of allergic patients selectively exposed to olive or ash pollen.


Olive and ash pollen extracts were analyzed by IgE immunoblotting using sera from Spanish patients highly exposed to olive pollen and Austrian patients without olive but ash pollen exposure. IgE cross-reactivity was studied by qualitative immunoblot inhibition assays and semiquantitative ELISA inhibitions using olive, ash, birch, mugwort, timothy grass pollen extracts and the major olive pollen allergen, Ole e 1.


Spanish and Austrian patients exhibited an almost identical IgE-binding profile to olive and ash pollen allergens, with major reactivity directed against Ole e 1, and its homologous ash counterpart, Fra e 1. IgE inhibition experiments demonstrated extensive cross-reactivity between olive and ash pollen allergens. However, whereas cross-reactions between profilins and calcium-binding allergens also occurred between unrelated plant species, cross-reactivity to Ole e 1 was confined to plants belonging to the Oleaceae.


Ole e 1 is a marker allergen for the diagnosis of olive and ash pollen allergy.

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