Heterogenous Induction of Blocking Antibodies against Ragweed Allergen Molecules by Allergen Extract-Based Immunotherapy Vaccines

Lauriana-Eunice Zbîrcea, Maria-Roxana Buzan, Manuela Grijincu, Monica-Daniela Cotarcă, Tudor-Paul Tamaș, Laura Haidar, Gabriela Tănasie, Ioan Huțu, Elijahu Babaev, Frank Stolz, Rudolf Valenta, Virgil Păunescu, Carmen Panaitescu, Kuan-Wei Chen

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article


Currently, allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT) for ragweed allergy is still based on natural allergen extracts. This study aimed to analyse the ability of four commercially available AIT vaccines (CLUSTOID, TYRO-SIT, POLLINEX Quattro Plus and Diater Depot) regarding their ability to induce IgG antibodies against ragweed pollen allergens in rabbits. Accordingly, the IgG reactivity of AIT-induced rabbit sera was tested for ten different ragweed pollen allergens (Amb a 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12) by an ELISA. Furthermore, the ability of rabbit AIT-specific sera to block allergic patients' IgE binding to relevant ragweed allergens (Amb a 1, 4, 6, 8 and 11) and to inhibit allergen-induced basophil activation was evaluated by an IgE inhibition ELISA and a mediator release assay. Only two AIT vaccines (Diater Depot > CLUSTOID) induced relevant IgG antibody levels to the major ragweed allergen Amb a 1. The IgG responses induced by the AIT vaccines against the other ragweed allergens were low and highly heterogeneous. Interestingly, the kinetics of IgG responses were different among the AIT vaccines and even within one AIT vaccine (Diater Depot) for Amb a 1 (long-lasting) versus Amb a 8 and Amb a 11 (short-lived). This could be due to variations in allergen contents, the immunogenicity of the allergens, and different immunization protocols. The IgE inhibition experiments showed that rabbit AIT-specific sera containing high allergen-specific IgG levels were able to inhibit patients' IgE binding and prevent the mediator release with Diater Depot. The high levels of allergen-specific IgG levels were associated with their ability to prevent the recognition of allergens by patients' IgE and allergen-induced basophil activation, indicating that the measurement of allergen-induced IgG could be a useful surrogate marker for the immunological efficacy of vaccines. Accordingly, the results of our study may be helpful for the selection of personalized AIT vaccination strategies for ragweed-allergic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number635
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 07 Jun 2024


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