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Variability of IgE reactivity profiles among European mite allergic patients


Susanne Vrtala, PhD, Division of Immunopathology, Department of Pathophysiology, Centre for Physiology and Pathophysiology, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, 1090 Vienna, Austria. Tel.: +43 140400 5132; fax: +43 140400 5130; e-mail:


Background  House dust mites (HDM) Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus are a frequent indoor allergen source. Our aim was to determine the frequencies of IgE reactivity to purified HDM allergen molecules in mite allergic patients from different parts of Europe in order to establish an allergen panel for diagnosis of HDM allergy.

Materials and methods  Populations of D. pteronyssinus-allergic patients from Austria (n = 56), France (n = 55), Italy (n = 67) and Sweden (n = 65) and storage mite allergic patients from Sweden (n = 31) were analysed for IgE reactivity to eight purified natural (n) and recombinant (r) D. pteronyssinus allergens (nDer p 1, rDer p 2, nDer p 4, rDer p 5, rDer p 7, rDer p 8, rDer p 10 and rDer p 14) in RAST-based dot blot assays.

Results  Using a combination of Der p 1 and Der p 2, at least 97% of the D. pteronyssinus-allergic patients could be diagnosed in each of the HDM allergic populations. However, more than 50% of the patients also reacted with other allergens and significant variabilities regarding the frequencies of IgE reactivity to individual allergen molecules were found. Patients with a predominant storage mite allergy showed none or only very weak IgE reactivity to purified D. pteronyssinus allergens.

Conclusions  Purified Der p 1 and Der p 2 are sufficient for the diagnosis of ≥ 97% of D. pteronyssinus allergic patients in Europe, but other allergens may also play an important role for the diagnosis and treatment of HDM allergy.