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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2007 Sep;99(3):203-11; quiz 212-3, 231.

Cross-reactivity of pollen allergens: impact on allergen immunotherapy.

Author information

  • 1National Jewish Medical & Research Center, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado, USA. weberr@njc.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To provide guidelines for the rational formulation of allergen immunotherapy extracts based on knowledge of pollen allergen and epitope cross-reactivity.

DATA SOURCES:

A PubMed search was performed for articles published from 1966 to 2007 using the keywords pollen, allergen, and cross-reactivity. Older literature was found through cross-referencing of older articles and older reviews on pollen cross-reactivity.

STUDY SELECTION:

Articles that dealt with crude pollen extracts and characterized allergens that addressed cross-reactivity were selected for inclusion in this review.

RESULTS:

In addition to unique allergens, several families of botanic proteins have similarities that allow them to act as pan-allergens. Although frequently these are minor allergens, in some circumstances they may also be major allergens. Recent studies have investigated nonspecific lipid transfer proteins, calcium-binding proteins, pathogenesis-related protein families, and profilins. Calcium-binding proteins and nonspecific lipid transfer proteins are responsible for pollen-fruit interactions and pollen cross-reactivity. Clarification of pollen allergen enzymatic activity helps explain the ubiquitous nature of these proteins.

CONCLUSION:

Characterization of specific pollen allergens and their protein families has provided insight into cross-reactivity. Clarification of these relationships allows for consolidation or substitution in formulation of inhalant extracts.

PMID:
17910323
DOI:
10.1016/S1081-1206(10)60654-0
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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