Author(s): Harwanegg C, Laffer S, Hiller R, Mueller MW, Kraft D
We suggest that the coapplication of recombinant allergens and microarray technology can lead to the development of new forms of multi-allergen tests which allow the determining and monitoring of complex sensitization profiles of allergic patients in single assays. The allergen extracts which have so far been used for diagnosis only allowed the determining of whether an allergic patient is sensitized against a particular allergen source, but the disease-eliciting allergens could not be identified. Through the application of recombinant DNA technology a rapidly growing panel of recombinant allergen molecules has become available which meanwhile comprises the epitope spectrum of most of the important allergen sources. We demonstrate that microarray technology can be used to establish multi-allergen tests consisting of microarrayed recombinant allergen molecules. Microarrayed recombinant allergens can be used to determine and monitor the profile of disease-eliciting allergens using single tests that require minute amounts of serum from allergic patients. The wealth of diagnostic information gained through microarray-based allergy testing will likely improve diagnosis, prevention and treatment of allergy.