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Allergo J Int. 2014;23(3):78-83. Epub 2014 May 9.

Ash pollen allergy: reliable detection of sensitization on the basis of IgE to Ole e 1.

Author information

1
Allergy ward, Division of Dermatology, UniversityHospital Zurich, Gloriastrasse 31, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland ; Airport Medical Center, Zurich-airport, Zurich, Switzerland.
2
Division of clinical Immunology, UniversityHospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
3
Division of Biostatistics, Institute for social und preventive medicine, University Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
4
Allergy ward, Division of Dermatology, UniversityHospital Zurich, Gloriastrasse 31, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland.

Abstract

Background: Alongside hazel, alder and birch pollen allergies, ash pollen allergy is a relevant cause of hay fever during spring in the European region. For some considerable time, ash pollen allergy was not routinely investigated and its clinical relevance may well have been underestimated, particularly since ash and birch tree pollination times are largely the same. Ash pollen extracts are not yet well standardized and diagnosis is therefore sometimes unreliable. Olive pollen, on the other hand, is strongly cross-reactive with ash pollen and is apparently better standardized. Therefore, the main allergen of olive pollen, Ole e 1, has been postulated as a reliable alternative for the detection of ash pollen sensitization. Methods: To determine to what extent specific IgE against Ole e 1 in patients with ash pollen allergy is relevant, we included 183 subjects with ash pollen allergy displaying typical symptoms in March/April and positive skin prick test specific IgE against Ole e 1 (t224) and ash pollen (t25) and various birch allergens (Bet v 1, Bet v 2/v 4) in a retrospective study. Results: A significant correlation was seen between specific IgE against Ole e 1 and ash pollen, but also to a slightly lesser extent between IgE against Ole e 1 and skin prick test with ash pollen, the latter being even higher than IgE and skin prick test both with ash pollen. No relevant correlation was found with birch pollen allergens, demonstrating the very limited cross-reactivity between ash and birch pollen. Conclusion: It appears appropriate to determine specific IgE against Ole e 1 instead of IgE against ash pollen to detect persons with ash pollen allergy. Our findings may also support the idea of using possibly better standardized or more widely available olive pollen extracts instead of ash pollen extract for allergen-specific immunotherapy.

KEYWORDS:

Ole e 1; ash; betulaceae; olive pollen; pollen

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