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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 1997 Sep;114(1):59-67.

Biological activity of recombinant Der p 2, Der p 5 and Der p 7 allergens of the house-dust mite Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus.

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  • 1Institute of Biomedicine, Central University of Venezuela, Caracas.


Der p 2, Der p 5 and Der p 7 are three allergens of the house-dust mite Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus that have been cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli as fusion proteins with glutathione-S-transferase (GST). We showed that these recombinant allergens produced immediate hypersensitivity skin-test reactions in 70, 60 and 52% respectively of a group of mite-sensitive allergic patients who were strongly positive to whole mite extract (WME). Comparable positivities were found for serum levels of specific IgE antibody against these allergens, as measured by the radioallergosorbant test (RAST). Overall, for the group of allergic patients that we evaluated, the serum IgE antibody concentrations against Der p 2, 5 and 7 were calculated to represent about one third, one quarter and one fifth respectively of the levels measured against the WME. However, for some patients the activity determined against the separate allergens was far higher than that detected against the WME, thus indicating that the concentration of these can be limiting in the WME. We found no significant correlations between the RAST levels against Derp 2 and either Derp 5 or 7, and RAST-inhibition tests indicated a lack of cross-reactivity between Der p 2 and the other two allergens. In contrast, the RAST results revealed the existence of a significant immunological relationship between Der p 5 and 7. Although a certain degree of reactivity against the GST fusion partner was found in the allergic patients studied, this was not a significant influence in determining the positivity against the recombinant allergens. These results confirm the in vivo biological activity of recombinant Der p 2, 5 and 7, and indicate that whilst Der p 2 is undoubtedly a major mite allergen, both Der p 5 and 7 make important contributions toward the overall allergenic activity of house-dust mites.

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