Peanut allergies belong to the most frequent food allergies which already establish during infancy. Contact with the allergen often causes severe systemic reactions of the organism including circulatory collapse (anaphylaxis). The diagnosis of a peanut allergy mostly implies serious restrictions of the patient’s life quality, especially with respect to the diet, since every contact with the nut has to be avoided.
However, not all allergic persons react to peanuts in the same way. By now, molecular allergy diagnostics permit detailed discrimination between sensitizations to different allergen components which supports the allergist’s assessment of each patient’s risk for anaphylaxis.
The multiparametric immunoblot EUROLINE DPA-Dx Peanut 1, specifically adjusted to the needs of peanut allergy diagnostics, permits the determination of circulating IgE antibodies targeting seven different, defined partial allergens (DPA) of the peanut: Ara h1, h2, h3, h5, h6, h7, h9.
Except Ara h5, all components are heat resistant proteins. Sensitization to one or more of these specific components may lead to severe systemic and potentially life threatening reactions following a contact with the peanut in any form (raw, baked, cooked, roasted). The risk of these reactions increases with the number of allergen components which the patient is sensitized to. In contrast Ara h5 is a heat instable protein and is considered to be a low-risk component.
Additionally, the line blot harbors the birch pollen component Betv1 which is structurally related to the peanut component Ara h8. In case of a peanut allergy which is solely based on IgE antibody reactivity to Bet v1/Ara h8, the allergist can assume a birch pollen-associated cross reaction which is usually accompanied by mild symptoms only. The risk of anaphylaxis is also low.
Besides its value in individual risk assessment component-resolved allergy diagnostics support the allergist’s decision on whether or not a specific immunotherapy is indicated. The therapy relies on detailed knowledge about the correct trigger of the symptoms and is promising only in those patients who are sensitized to a specific main allergen component. These are found in high quantity in the applied therapeutics – a fact which increases the chances of an effective treatment.