Author(s): Noma T, Yoshizawa I, Aoki K, Sugawara Y, Odajima H
BACKGROUND: The antigen-specific interleukin-2 response (AIR) test using lymphocytes is effective in searching for the antigen which causes allergic diseases and understanding their disease activity. OBJECTIVE AND METHODS: The correlation between the raw egg oral provocation test and egg white antigen-specific interleukin-2 (IL-2) response test was investigated in 123 children with infantile atopic dermatitis and 13 children with bronchial asthma. RESULTS: Among the 83 who showed positive reactions to provocation, 75 also reacted positively to the AIR test (sensitivity, 90.4%), while among the 53 children who showed negative responses to antigen provocation, 45 produced negative responses to the AIR test (specificity, 84.9%). The specificity of egg white IgE RAST score and skin-prick test are 88.7 and 81.3% which are comparable to that of the AIR test. However, their sensitivity was low (38.6 and 66.7%). In the patterns of symptom developed in the provocation AIR displayed late and delayed type allergic responses in addition to the immediate type which RAST reflected. The RAST-negative group composed of 98 patients included 51 (52.0%) who exhibited positive reactions to the provocation test. Among these 44 responded positively to the AIR test (86.3%). CONCLUSION: The AIR test is effective for screening egg white antigen as part of the tests for antigens responsible for allergic diseases and as a test to ascertain the relevant antigens, and that the conditions that could not be diagnosed by RAST can be detected by the AIR test.