Relationship between IgE Levels Specific for Ragweed Pollen Extract, Amb a 1 and Cross-Reactive Allergen Molecules

Lauriana-Eunice Zbîrcea, Maria-Roxana Buzan, Manuela Grijincu, Elijahu Babaev, Frank Stolz, Rudolf Valenta, Virgil Păunescu, Carmen Panaitescu, Kuan-Wei Chen

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

2 Citations (Scopus)


Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) pollen is a major endemic allergen source responsible for severe allergic manifestations in IgE-sensitized allergic patients. It contains the major allergen Amb a 1 and cross-reactive allergen molecules, such as the cytoskeletal protein profilin, Amb a 8 and calcium-binding allergens Amb a 9 and Amb a 10. To assess the importance of Amb a 1, profilin and calcium-binding allergen, the IgE reactivity profiles of clinically well-characterized 150 ragweed pollen-allergic patients were analysed regarding specific IgE levels for Amb a 1 and cross-reactive allergen molecules by quantitative ImmunoCAP measurements, IgE ELISA and by basophil activation experiments. By quantifying allergen-specific IgE levels we found that Amb a 1-specific IgE levels accounted for more than 50% of ragweed pollen-specific IgE in the majority of ragweed pollen-allergic patients. However, approximately 20% of patients were sensitized to profilin and the calcium-binding allergens, Amb a 9 and Amb a 10, respectively. As shown by IgE inhibition experiments, Amb a 8 showed extensive cross-reactivity with profilins from birch (Bet v 2), timothy grass (Phl p 12) and mugwort pollen (Art v 4) and was identified as a highly allergenic molecule by basophil activation testing. Our study indicates that molecular diagnosis performed by the quantification of specific IgE to Amb a 1, Amb a 8, Amb a 9 and Amb a 10 is useful to diagnose genuine sensitization to ragweed pollen and to identify patients who are sensitized to highly cross-reactive allergen molecules present in pollen from unrelated plants, in order to enable precision medicine-based approaches for the treatment and prevention of pollen allergy in areas with complex pollen sensitization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4040
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2023


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