Component resolution reveals additional major allergens in patients with honeybee venom allergy

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014 May;133(5):1383-9, 1389.e1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2013.10.060. Epub 2014 Jan 17.


Background: Detection of IgE to recombinant Hymenoptera venom allergens has been suggested to improve the diagnostic precision in Hymenoptera venom allergy. However, the frequency of sensitization to the only available recombinant honeybee venom (HBV) allergen, rApi m 1, in patients with HBV allergy is limited, suggesting that additional HBV allergens might be of relevance.

Objective: We performed an analysis of sensitization profiles of patients with HBV allergy to a panel of HBV allergens.

Methods: Diagnosis of HBV allergy (n = 144) was based on history, skin test results, and allergen-specific IgE levels to HBV. IgE reactivity to 6 HBV allergens devoid of cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants (CCD) was analyzed by ImmunoCAP.

Results: IgE reactivity to rApi m 1, rApi m 2, rApi m 3, nApi m 4, rApi m 5, and rApi m 10 was detected in 72.2%, 47.9%, 50.0%, 22.9%, 58.3%, and 61.8% of the patients with HBV allergy, respectively. Positive results to at least 1 HBV allergen were detected in 94.4%. IgE reactivity to Api m 3, Api m 10, or both was detected in 68.0% and represented the only HBV allergen-specific IgE in 5% of the patients. Limited inhibition of IgE binding by therapeutic HBV and limited induction of Api m 3- and Api m 10-specific IgG4 in patients obtaining immunotherapy supports recent reports on the underrepresentation of these allergens in therapeutic HBV preparations.

Conclusion: Analysis of a panel of CCD-free HBV allergens improved diagnostic sensitivity compared with use of rApi m 1 alone, identified additional major allergens, and revealed sensitizations to allergens that have been reported to be absent or underrepresented in therapeutic HBV preparations.

Keywords: Apis mellifera; Hymenoptera venom; Vespula vulgaris; cross-reactive carbohydrate determinant; honeybee venom allergy; insect venom allergy; recombinant allergen.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / chemistry
  • Allergens / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Bee Venoms / chemistry
  • Bee Venoms / immunology*
  • Bees*
  • Cross Reactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Insect Bites and Stings / diagnosis
  • Insect Bites and Stings / immunology*
  • Insect Proteins / chemistry
  • Insect Proteins / immunology*
  • Male


  • Allergens
  • Bee Venoms
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Insect Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin E