To cite this article: Asarnoj A, Movérare R, Östblom E, Poorafshar M, Lilja G, Hedlin G, van Hage M, Ahlstedt S, Wickman M. IgE to peanut allergen components: relation to peanut symptoms and pollen sensitization in 8-year-olds. Allergy 2010; 65: 1189–1195.
Background: Allergen-specific IgE testing is often performed with crude peanut extract, but the results may be difficult to interpret because of cross-reactions between peanut and other plant allergens. The aim was to investigate IgE reactivity to peanut allergen components in children from a birch-rich region in relation to pollen sensitization and peanut symptoms.
Methods: From a birth cohort, clinical parameters were obtained through questionnaires and IgE antibody levels to peanut and birch pollen were measured. Different peanut/birch sensitization phenotypes were defined among 200 selected children. IgE reactivity to peanut and pollen allergen components was analysed using microarray technique.
Results: Peanut symptoms were reported in 87% of the children with IgE reactivity to any of the peanut allergens Ara h 1, 2 or 3 but not to Ara h 8 (n = 46) vs 17% of children with IgE reactivity to Ara h 8 but not to Ara h 1, 2 or 3 (n = 23), P < 0.001. Furthermore, symptoms were more severe in children with Ara h 1, 2 or 3 reactivity. Children with IgE reactivity both to Ara h 2 and to Ara h 1 or 3 more often reported peanut symptoms than children with IgE only to Ara h 2 (97%vs 70%, P = 0.016), particularly respiratory symptoms (50%vs 9%, P = 0.002).
Conclusions: IgE analysis to peanut allergen components may be used to distinguish between peanut-sensitized individuals at risk of severe symptoms and those likely to have milder or no symptoms to peanut if sensitized to pollen allergens and their peanut homologue allergens.