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Prevalence of IgE reactivities in mold-allergic subjects to commercially available fungal enzymes

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Fungi are important aeroallergens. However, fungal allergen sources of consistent quality for clinical testing are not readily available. Because some allergens have been identified as enzymes, we assessed the prevalence of IgE reactivity to commercially available fungal enzymes. The purpose of this study was to determine IgE antibody reactivity by radioallergosorbent assay (RAST) to commercially available fungal enzymes in mold-allergic individuals. Sera from 20 subjects with symptoms of respiratory allergies and skin test reactivity to 2 or more fungal allergens (4 conidial [imperfecti] fungi and/or 8 basidiomycetes) were selected. Controls were six atopic individuals with neither history of fungal allergy nor skin test reactivity to fungi. Seventeen commercial fungal enzymes were used as antigens to evaluate the subjects' IgE antibody reactivity by RAST. Sera from most fungus-allergic individuals showed substantial IgE antibody reactivity to enzymes; control sera showed little or no reactivity. The mean reactivity to all commercial enzymes of all subjects tested was RAST ≥ 3% with only one exception. The most reactive fungal enzymes were invertase (bakers' yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae), cellulase (Trichoderma viride), and glucosidase (brewers yeast, S. cerevisiae) with mean binding of 14.6, 9.5, and 8.8%, respectively. Using RAST results with a combination of four enzymes from S. cerevisiae (brewers yeast glucosidase, bakers' yeast maltase, invertase, and invertase V), a sensitivity of 100% was shown for detecting mold-allergic patients. The studies suggest that fungal enzymes may be useful source materials for the identification of fungal allergens and may also provide readily available source materials to produce improved diagnostic and therapeutic reagents.
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Keywords: Allergens; IgE antibody; allergy; enzyme sources; fungus; mold

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Section of Clinical Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma and by having the potential to directly impact the quality of patient care. AAP welcomes the submission of original works including peer-reviewed original research and clinical trial results. Additionally, as the official journal of the Eastern Allergy Conference (EAC), AAP will publish content from EAC poster sessions as well as review articles derived from EAC lectures.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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