In vitro drug allergy tests have limited sensitivity, partly due to a poor understanding of the immunological recognition of in vitro drug-protein conjugates. We have designed and synthesized multivalent mono- and bi-epitope dendrimeric antigen (DeAn) conjugates and studied their chemical and tridimensional structures. We describe differences in the spatial distribution and conformation of these conjugated epitopes for the first time: a partially hidden benzylpenicilloyl and a more exposed amoxicilloyl. Our data suggest that DeAn conjugates provide a useful model for studying IgE recognition in patients who suffer from an allergic reaction to benzylpenicillin and/or amoxicillin. 1D and 2D NMR, MDS and immunochemical studies provide evidence that both antigen composition and tridimensional distribution play key roles in IgE-antigen recognition. Bi-epitope DeAn conjugates could potentially allow the diagnosis of patients allergic to any of these two drugs with a single test and represent the basis for a broadly-applicable in vitro assay. From the clinical editor: The prevalence of allergic drug reactions is rising and there is an imperative need to identify patients at risk. In this interesting and important article, the authors developed a novel method for detecting drug specific IgE antibodies, responsible for allergic reactions, by using multivalent mono- and bi-epitope Dendrimeric Antigen (DeAn) conjugates. The continued success of this research may pave way of eventual development of a simple diagnostic test.
Keywords: Allergy; Dendrimer; Immune response; Immunochemistry; In vitro test; Molecular modeling.
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