Correlation between antigen-specific IL-2 response test and provocation test for egg allergy in atopic dermatitis


Dr Noma Department of Paediatrics, Kitasato University School of Medicine, 1-15-1 Kitasato, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 228, Japan.



The antigen-specific interleukin-2 response (AIR) test using lymphocytes is effective in searching for the antigen which causes allergic diseases and understanding their disease activity .

Objective and Methods

The correlation between the raw egg oral provocation test and egg white antigen-specific interleukin-2 (IL-2) response test was investigated in 123 children with infantile atopic dermatitis and 13 children with bronchial asthma.


Among the 83 who showed positive reactions to provocation, 75 also reacted positively to the AIR test (sensitivity, 90.4%), while among the 53 children who showed negative responses to antigen provocation, 45 produced negative responses to the AIR test (specificity, 84.9%). The specificity of egg white IgE RAST score and skin-prick test are 88.7 and 81.3% which are comparable to that of the AIR test. However, their sensitivity was low (38.6 and 66.7%). In the patterns of symptom developed in the provocation AIR displayed late and delayed type allergic responses in addition to the immediate type which RAST reflected. The RAST-negative group composed of 98 patients included 51 (52.0%) who exhibited positive reactions to the provocation test. Among these 44 responded positively to the AIR test (86.3%).


The AIR test is effective for screening egg white antigen as part of the tests for antigens responsible for allergic diseases and as a test to ascertain the relevant antigens, and that the conditions that could not be diagnosed by RAST can be detected by the AIR test.