Background: In patients in whom the clinical indication for immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated allergic respiratory disease is weak, a single qualitative multiallergen-screening assay for IgE antibody to multiple allergen specificities may support the absence of IgE-mediated allergic respiratory disease. The aim was to investigate the diagnostic efficacy of a new multiallergen-screening assay in relation to skin prick test (SPT) reactivity and objective diagnoses of allergic respiratory disease in a general population setting.
Methods: A total of 709 participants in a population-based study were examined by questionnaire and SPT. Serum was analysed by using a multiallergen-screening assay: the ADVIA Centaur® Allergy Screen (AS) assay. The dichotomized result of the AS assay was compared with SPT reactivity, specific IgE positivity, and a clinical diagnosis of allergic rhinitis or allergic asthma defined by the presence of relevant symptoms and positive SPTs.
Results: Sensitivity, specificity, and positive (PPV) and negative predictive values (NPV) of the AS against SPT reactivity were 86%, 96%, 94%, and 89%, respectively. A negative AS assay test was able to exclude allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma with a probability of more than 96% and 98% (NPV), respectively. The AS assay was able to identify more than 92% and 92% (sensitivity) of cases of allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma, respectively.
Conclusions: The AS assay proved to be a valid measure of allergic respiratory disease and may be used as a screening tool to rule out allergic respiratory disease, and as an objective measure of allergic respiratory disease in epidemiological studies.