Single allergen components can be produced from an allergen source. Sensitization to these components is then measured individually, helping to pinpoint on an exact molecular level which component the patient is sensitized to. This information provides the basis for a refined diagnosis of the allergy.
Allergen components are proteins that are grouped into different protein families based on structural similarity. The consequences of being sensitized to members of these families depend on the properties they have in common; they are present in different amounts in the sources and have different stabilities. Some allergen components are specific, some are cross-reactive.
What does Molecular Allergology add?
1. Assess the clinical risk of reaction
Molecular Allergology enables you to draw conclusions on the risk connected with the sensitization. Sensitization to stable allergen components may elicit both systemic and local reactions, while sensitization to labile components is connected mainly with local reactions.
2. Explain symptoms due to cross-reactivity
Symptoms elicited by cross-reacting antibodies can be distinguished from those caused by genuine sensitization, which is important for patient management and for giving adequate avoidance advice. In cases where only cross-reactive sensitization is identified, further testing to find the primary sensitizer should be undertaken.
3. Identify the right patients for Specific Immunotherapy
Sensitization to specific allergen components is essential for successful Specific Immunotherapy. By matching patients having a genuine sensitization with an extract from the relevant source, treatment outcome is improved.