Allergenic components of Candida albicans identified by immunoblot analysis


Horng-Der Shen, Department of Medical Research, Veterans General Hospital, Shih-Pai, Taipei, 11217, Taiwan, Republic of China.


Allergenic components of Candida albicans fractionated by SDS–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) and transferred to nitrocellulose membranes were identified using sera from 30 asthmatic patients who showed positive skin test and RAST (radio-allergosorbent test) to C. albicans. The IgE-binding yeast components in the complex antigen preparation were then detected by reaction with enzyme-labelled anti-human IgE antibodies. They were confirmed by Coomassie blue R-250 staining of the membrane to visualize all protein bands after reaction with the enzyme substrate. The IgE-binding patterns of the sera tested were heterogeneous, displaying a total of 16 identifiable components with molecular weights ranging from 20 to 94 kD. A 40 kD component showed the highest IgE-binding frequency, being recognized by 23 (77%) of the 30 sera examined. The other 15 allergenic components identified were recognized by less than 25% of the sera tested. Only two of the 30 serum samples contained IgE antibodies reactive with seven to eight allergenic components. Ten of the 30 sera reacted with only one allergenic component, and the remaining serum samples recognized two to five of the 16 identified allergens. Results described in this study are applicable to allergen standardization work and provide a basis for further study on the role of C. albicans in clinical allergy.