Optimizing cultivation conditions for the highest expression of fungal allergens

Sandra Pfeiffer, Margarete Focke-Tejkl, Katja Sterflinger, Ines Swoboda

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

3 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Any reliable allergy diagnosis depends on the quality of the testing material. In the case of fungal allergy, fungal extracts, typically used as test solutions, exhibit considerable differences in their allergenicity. Better knowledge of fungal allergen expression would enable the production of diagnostic fungal extracts of higher quality and, thus, improve the specificity and sensitivity of fungal allergy diagnosis.

OBJECTIVE: Our study aimed to find optimal cultivation conditions for the highest expression of fungal allergens.

METHODS: Fungal species (Alternaria alternata, Ulocladium chartarum, Aspergillus fumigatus, Cladosporium herbarum, and Paecilomyces variotii) were cultivated under different conditions, and extracts were prepared from fungal material. To detect the expression of the homologous major allergens Alt a 1 and Ulo c 1 and of different fungal enolases, Western blots with allergen-specific antibodies were carried out.

RESULTS: Western blots performed with antibodies directed against Alt a 1 and enolases showed that the expression of fungal allergens is highly species-dependent. Even allergens of closely related fungal species and highly conserved, cross-reactive allergens display different expression patterns.

CONCLUSION: This study exhibits the impact of different environmental conditions on the expression of the fungal allergens Alt a 1, Ulo c 1, and different fungal enolases. Furthermore, it broadens the knowledge regarding the expression pattern of the major fungal allergens Alt a 1 and Ulo c 1. Information obtained in this study will help to optimize fungal cultivation to produce diagnostic fungal extracts of high quality and, therefore, improve diagnostic specificity and sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-484.e3
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number4
Early online date24 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


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