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Clinical & Experimental Allergy

Immunoglobulin E reactivity of native Blo t 5, a major allergen of Blomia tropicalis


Kaw-Yan Chua, Department of Paediatrics, National University of Singapore, 5, Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119074, Singapore. E-mail:


Background Blo t 5 is a major allergen of Blomia tropicalis and its complementary DNA (cDNA) has been expressed in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic expression systems. Although the recombinant Blo t 5 has been well characterized, relatively less is known about its native counterparts and the allergenicity comparison of the native and recombinant Blo t 5 allergens has not been reported.

Objective The aims of this study are to characterize the native counterpart of Blo t 5, and compare the allergenicity of native and recombinant Blo t 5 by in vivo and in vitro assays.

Methods Native Blo t 5 were purified by immuno-affinity chromatography and characterized by proteomic means. The allergenicity of the allergen was evaluated by skin prick tests, human IgE ELISA, ELISA inhibition and histamine release assays.

Results Native Blo t 5 consists of at least five distinct isoforms, ranging from pI 3 to 5.5. Allergenicity assessment of recombinant and native Blo t 5 based on skin reaction, IgE-binding capacity and histamine release in allergic individuals indicated that there was a good correlation between both forms of Blo t 5 in general. However, data from IgE ELISA inhibition assay revealed the presence of additional unique IgE epitopes in native Blo t 5.

Conclusions At least five distinct isoforms of Blo t 5 have been identified. Comparative assessment of native and recombinant Blo t 5 revealed that the allergenicity of these two forms was similar but not completely identical suggesting that the various isoforms of native Blo t 5 may exhibit additional unique IgE epitopes.

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