A Molecular Diagnostic Algorithm to Guide Pollen Immunotherapy in Southern Europe: Towards Component-Resolved Management of Allergic Diseases

Nikolaos Douladiris, Savvas Savvatianos, Irene Roumpedaki, Chrysanthi Skevaki, Dimitrios Mitsias, Nikolaos G. Papadopoulos

Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2013;162:163–172


Correct identification of the culprit allergen is an essential part of diagnosis and treatment in immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated allergic diseases. In recent years, molecular biology has made important advances facilitating such identification and overcoming some of the drawbacks of natural allergen extracts, which consist of mixtures of various proteins that may be allergenic or not, specific for the allergen source or widely distributed (panallergens). New technologies offer the opportunity for a more accurate component-resolved diagnosis, of benefit especially to polysensitized allergic patients. The basic elements of molecular diagnostics with potential relevance to immunotherapy prescription are reviewed here, with a focus on Southern European sensitization patterns to pollen allergens. We propose a basic algorithm regarding component-resolved diagnostic work-up for pollen allergen-specific immunotherapy candidates in Southern Europe; this and similar algorithms can form the basis of improved patient management, conceptually a 'Component-Resolved Allergy Management'.

Abstract in Pubmed