Cross-sectional survey on immunoglobulin E reactivity in 23,077 subjects using an allergenic molecule-based microarray detection system

Clin Exp Allergy. 2010 Jun;40(6):911-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2010.03470.x. Epub 2010 Mar 1.


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.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Allergens / genetics
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / diagnosis*
  • Hypersensitivity / epidemiology*
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood*
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis / methods*
  • Sex Distribution
  • Young Adult


  • Allergens
  • Immunoglobulin E