Polysensitisation to pollen due to profilin and calcium-binding protein: distribution of IgE antibodies to marker allergens in grass and birch pollen allergic rhinitis patients in southern Germany

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2014 Apr;271(4):719-25. doi: 10.1007/s00405-013-2609-7. Epub 2013 Jul 2.


Allergen-specific immunotherapy for grass pollen allergy has been reported to be effective in up to 85% of patients. Sensitisation to profilin and calcium-binding protein (CBP) can possibly influence treatment results and may thus be a reason for treatment failures. During a study period of 3 years, the distribution patterns of antibodies to marker allergens were continuously investigated in all blood serum samples with a level of immunoglobulin E antibodies to timothy and birch pollen higher than 0.7 kUA/l (n = 556). Sensitisation to timothy grass pollen alone was found in 33% of the cases, to birch pollen alone in 19%, and to both in 48%. The group of polysensitised patients showed an inhomogenous distribution of antibodies to marker allergens. IgE against minor allergens was detected in 40%. Sensitisation to major allergens, especially to the major birch allergen, was not present in 13% of the polysensitised patients. Of the patients who were sensitised to minor allergens, 82% were sensitised to profilin, 11% to CBP, and 8% to both profilin and CBP. Profilin and CBP frequently cause polysensitisations to pollen. The data obtained justify the measurement of serum levels of antibodies to marker allergens in patients who are sensitised to more than one group of allergens.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies / immunology*
  • Betula / immunology*
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / immunology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross Reactions / immunology
  • Desensitization, Immunologic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunization
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phleum / immunology*
  • Pollen / immunology*
  • Profilins / immunology*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / immunology*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / therapy
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Profilins
  • Immunoglobulin E