Application of recombinant antigen 5 allergens from seven allergy-relevant Hymenoptera species in diagnostics.
- Allergy and Clinical Immunology
BACKGROUND: Hymenoptera stings can cause severe anaphylaxis in untreated venom-allergic patients. A correct diagnosis regarding the relevant species for immunotherapy is often hampered by clinically irrelevant cross-reactivity. In vespid venom allergy, cross-reactivity between venoms of different species can be a diagnostic challenge. To address immunological IgE cross-reactivity on molecular level, seven recombinant antigens 5 of the most important Vespoidea groups were assessed by different diagnostic setups. METHODS: The antigens 5 of yellow jackets, hornets, European and American paper wasps, fire ants, white-faced hornets, and Polybia wasps were recombinantly produced in insect cells, immunologically and structurally characterized, and their sIgE reactivity assessed by ImmunoCAP, ELISA, cross-inhibition, and basophil activation test (BAT) in patients with yellow jacket or Polistes venom allergy of two European geographical areas. RESULTS: All recombinant allergens were correctly folded and structural models and patient reactivity profiles suggested the presence of conserved and unique B-cell epitopes. All antigens 5 showed extensive cross-reactivity in sIgE analyses, inhibition assays, and BAT. This cross-reactivity was more pronounced in ImmunoCAP measurements with venom extracts than in sIgE analyses with recombinant antigens 5. Dose-response curves with the allergens in BAT allowed a differentiated individual dissection of relevant sensitization. CONCLUSIONS: Due to extensive cross-reactivity in various diagnostic settings, antigens 5 are inappropriate markers for differential sIgE diagnostics in vespid venom allergy. However, the newly available antigens 5 from further vespid species and the combination of recombinant allergen-based sIgE measurements with BAT represents a practicable way to diagnose clinically relevant sensitization in vespid venom allergy.