Background: The fish parasite Anisakis simplex is the etiologic agent of anisakiasis and induces IgE-mediated reactions. Skin prick tests (SPTs) and the measurement of specific IgE to A. simplex were, in our experience, not valid tools with which to discriminate between allergic and nonallergic patients because many control subjects also had positive results.
Objective: The study was carried out to assess the usefulness of IgE immunoblotting in the diagnosis of allergy to A. simplex.
Methods: We have studied 61 patients with acute symptoms of urticaria, angioedema, or anaphylaxis and positive specific IgE to A. simplex. According to the anamnesis, time interval between ingestion of fish and clinical onset of symptoms, and exclusion of other causes of allergy, three different groups of patients were established: group A (allergic), group NA (non-allergic), and group D (doubtful). Fifty-one healthy donors were included as control subjects (group C). IgE immunoblotting with A. simplex whole-body extract was performed in all patients and control subjects.
Results: Four patterns of immunoblotting were observed: type 1, with a group of several bands of medium molecular weight and others of low molecular weight; type 2, two or more bands of medium molecular weight; type 3, only one band of medium molecular weight; type 4, without any band. There was a significant predominance of blotting type 1 in group A and type 4 in group C.
Conclusion: These data suggest that IgE immunoblotting is the most useful approach to A. simplex allergy diagnosis.