Sensitization to Vitis vinifera Pollen in a Wine Production Area: Identification of the Allergens Involved

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2023 Oct 16;33(5):383-391. doi: 10.18176/jiaci.0849. Epub 2023 Aug 24.


Background: Vine cultivation is widely distributed in La Rioja, Spain (37% of all crops) and is associated with exposure of the general population to vine pollen. The aims of this study were to investigate the prevalence of sensitization to Vitis vinifera pollen in persons with respiratory allergy in the general population and to identify the allergens involved.

Materials and methods: The study population comprised patients who came to the hospital between September 2019 and January 2020 with suspected respiratory allergy. All patients underwent skin prick testing with a panel of standardized aeroallergens, profilin, lipid transfer protein (LTP), and V vinifera pollen extract and prick-prick testing with fresh grapes. The in vitro study included specific IgE by ImmunoCap and ELISA, allergenic profile by immunoblot with individual sera from patients positive to V vinifera pollen extract, and 2D immunoblot with a pool of sera. The spots recognized by IgE were identified using mass spectrometry.

Results: A total of 151 patients were included. Of these, 124 were positive to some of the allergens tested. Thirty-four (27.4%) were positive to vine pollen in the skin prick tests. The serology study revealed positive results in 20 patients. Five vine pollen allergens were identified, and profilin was the most prevalent (30%). The other 4 allergens could be considered specific to this pollen.

Conclusions: Sensitization to vine pollen was frequent in the general population in a vine growing area. The clinical relevance of this finding is unknown owing to sensitization to other pollens in the vine pollen-positive patients. Five new vine pollen allergens were identified.

Keywords: 2D immunoblot; Allergen identification; Mass spectrometry; Vine pollen allergy; Vitis vinifera.