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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2019 Mar;143(3):831-843. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2018.12.1021.

Molecular diagnosis for allergen immunotherapy.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatric Pulmonology, Immunology and Intensive Care Medicine, Charité-University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany. Electronic address: paolo.matricardi@charite.de.
2
Department of Pediatric Pulmonology, Immunology and Intensive Care Medicine, Charité-University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
3
Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Universities of Giessen and Marburg Lung Center (UGMLC), Philipps University Marburg, German Center for Lung Research (DZL) Marburg, Marburg, Germany.

Abstract

The extensive use of allergen molecules in birth cohort studies revealed that atopic sensitization is a sequential IgE response to distinct non-cross-reacting molecules from the same allergenic source (ie, molecular spreading), starting with an initiator molecule. This phenomenon reaches different degrees of progression (monomolecular, oligomolecular, and polymolecular) according to the individual atopic propensity and allergen exposure, thus producing an extreme heterogeneity of IgE sensitization profiles in patient populations. In patients with allergic rhinitis, the broader the IgE molecular sensitization profile, the greater is the risk of asthma and other allergic comorbidities, such as oral allergy syndrome. Hence it has been proposed to anticipate immunologic intervention at disease onset (early allergen immunotherapy) or even earlier during the preclinical sensitization stage (allergen immunoprophylaxis). Diagnostic algorithms based on singleplex or multiplex molecular IgE tests allow the discrimination of genuine from cross-reacting sensitization and the selection of the right extracts for allergen immunotherapy composition. Patients with extreme molecular poly-sensitization and greater risk of asthma or other IgE-mediated comorbidities, can be easily identified by means of allergen microarray or macroarray procedures and might benefit from anti-IgE treatment. IgE molecular tests have opened the era of precision allergology, and their routine use should aim at cost-effectiveness, according to the principles of the Choosing Wisely initiative.

KEYWORDS:

Allergen; IgE; IgE tests; allergen immunotherapy; allergic rhinitis; asthma; biomarker; component-resolved diagnostics; diagnostic algorithm; molecular allergology; molecular spreading

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