Background: Allergen-specific immunotherapy (ASIT) in allergic rhinitis and asthma is the only treatment that effects the long-term development of these diseases. Basophil allergen threshold sensitivity, CD-sens, which is a valuable complement to resource-demanding clinical challenge tests, was used to monitor the initiation of ASIT induced allergen ‘blocking activity’.
Methods: Patients IgE-sensitized to timothy (n = 14) or birch (n = 19) pollen were started on conventional (8–16 weeks) or ultra rush ASIT, respectively, and followed by measurements of CD-sens, allergen binding activity (ABA) and serum IgG4- and IgE-antibody concentrations.
Results: CD-sens decreased during the early phase of ASIT-treatment. In parallel, ABA increased and correlated significantly with the increasing levels of IgG4 antibody concentrations. High dosages of allergen were more effective while mode of dosing up did not seem to matter. No change was seen in basophil reactivity.
Conclusion: CD-sens and ABA, in contrast to basophil reactivity, seem to be promising tools to monitor protective immune responses initiated by ASIT.