Background: The availability of allergenic molecules and high-throughput microtechnologies allow the collection of a large number of IgE results at the same time in a single test. This can be carried out applying the test in the routine diagnostic work-up.
Objective: The aim of this study was to make a cross-sectional evaluation of the raw prevalence of IgE reactivity to allergenic molecules in serum samples from a cohort of Italian patients using an innovative tool.
Methods: The ISAC, a microarray system, has been used for specific IgE detection using 75 different allergenic molecules. Sera were collected from 23,077 unselected consecutive individuals complaining about any allergic disease.
Results: Sixteen thousand four hundred and eight of 23,077 patients had IgE to at least one of 75 allergenic molecules. The top-ranked molecules in this cohort were Cup a 1 (42.7%), Der f 2 (38.7%), and Phl p 1 (37.9%), whereas all the other allergens tested scored in a range between 36.8% and 0.04%, including the first food allergen, Pru p 3, ranked 15th (9.79%). Prevalence varied quite markedly depending on the age range considered, and showing a different behaviour in the lifetime sensitization process. Unsupervised two-way hierarchical clustering analysis generated distinctive patterns of reactivity as the result of IgE recognition of either homologous allergens belonging to different biological sources or non-homologous belonging to the same biological source.
Conclusions: Allergen-based microarray is a tool for the detection of IgE-related sensitization to panels of allergens and gives a more precise and comprehensive evaluation for an IgE-based epidemiology. This insight brings data for better understanding of the sensitization process.