• component-resolved diagnosis;
  • cross-reactivity;
  • pollen allergy;
  • recombinant marker allergens;
  • sensitization profile

To cite this article: Twardosz-Kropfmüller A, Singh MB, Niederberger V, Horak F, Kraft D, Spitzauer S, Valenta R, Swoboda I. Association of allergic patients’ phenotypes with IgE reactivity to recombinant pollen marker allergens. Allergy 2010; 65: 296–303.


Background:  During the last decade allergen molecules from several allergen sources have been produced by recombinant DNA technology. The aim of this study was to investigate whether IgE reactivity to recombinant pollen allergens with broad and narrow cross-reactivity is associated with clinical phenotypes of allergic sensitization.

Methods:  Serum IgE reactivity to a panel of six recombinant birch and grass pollen allergens was measured by ELISA in pollen sensitized patients from Central Europe to define groups of patients with exclusive IgE reactivity to rBet v 1, with exclusive reactivity to major grass pollen allergens (rPhl p 1, rPhl p 2, rPhl p 5) and with IgE reactivity to cross-reactive pollen allergens (rBet v 2, rPhl p 7). Patients’ clinical phenotypes were recorded. IgE responses to tree, grass and weed pollen as well as plant food extracts were evaluated in vitro by CAP-FEIA and clinical sensitivities were confirmed in vivo by skin prick testing.

Results:  IgE reactivity to the recombinant major birch pollen allergen, rBet v 1, was associated with sensitization to pollen from birch, taxonomically related trees and to certain plant-derived food. Reactivity to the recombinant timothy grass pollen allergens, rPhl p 1, rPhl p 2, rPhl p 5, indicated sensitization to pollen from grasses. Patients reacting with the highly cross-reactive allergen rPhl p 7 were polysensitized to pollen from unrelated trees, grasses and weeds and rBet v 2-positive patients were polysensitized to pollen and plant-derived food from unrelated plants.

Conclusions:  IgE reactivity to recombinant marker allergens is associated with clinical phenotypes of allergic sensitization and may be useful for the selection of treatment strategies.