Monitoring Allergen Immunotherapy Effects by Microarray

Lupinek C, Wollmann E, Valenta R.

Curr Treat Options Allergy. 2016;3:189-203. 


Allergen-specific immunotherapy (AIT) is the only treatment of IgE-mediated allergies so far that has a sustained effect on clinical symptoms and can modify the course of the disease. It is an allergen-specific treatment and therefore requires the correct identification of the disease-causing allergens. Furthermore, AIT is a time-consuming treatment for which the efficacy is dependent on several factors. Therefore, diagnostic tests and biomarkers are needed that facilitate (1) selection of the correct allergens according to the patient's individual sensitization profile and (2) to monitor the effects of AIT. This can provide support for the decision to continue, modify, or discontinue vaccination. One significant mechanism of action of AIT is the induction of allergen-specific antibodies that compete with IgE for the binding to allergen molecules, hence referred to as blocking antibodies. It was shown in several studies that the induction of blocking antibodies by AIT, and their specificity can be measured by allergen microarrays. Inhibition of allergen-specific IgE binding by blocking antibodies can also be determined by microarrays and is associated with changes in clinical parameters or other in vivo and in vitro assays demonstrating efficacy of AIT. Furthermore, allergen microarrays allow determination of IgE sensitizations towards a comprehensive set of allergen molecules and therefore are well suited for identifying the disease-causing allergens for correct prescription of AIT. Thus, diagnostic tests based on microarrayed allergens can be useful in determining the correct prescription of AIT and can be used to monitor efficacy of AIT.

Abstract on Pubmed