• allergens;
  • crossed-radioimmunoelectrophoresis;
  • hen's egg white

Different subgroups of egg-allergic patients were established according to differences in allergic symptoms provoked by hen's egg white, total IgE-level, RAST (radioallergosorbent test) results to egg white, and age. In each group the pattern of specific IgE-antibodies to individual allergens in the egg white, determined by means of crossed radioimmuno-electrophoresis (CRIE), was compared with the pattern in a control group. The RAST value to egg white was found to exert the strongest influence on the CRIE results. A few statistically singificant differences in CRIE results to cetain allergens were also observed in other pairs of subgroups of egg-allergic patients. Possible explanations for this are discussed. It was concluded that CRIE studies of allergens in mixed protein solutions, using a series of sera from allergic patients, will most probably give the same results and the same classification of the allergens independent of the characteristica of the patients from which the sera were collected. However, it should be emphasized that the CRIE series must include a sufficient number of patients with high RAST values to the allergen in question. Otherwise some allergens may be missed and the classification of the allergens may be different.