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Current Opinion in Allergy & Clinical Immunology:
doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e328362c544
ANAPHYLAXIS AND INSECT ALLERGY: Edited by Theodore Freeman and Ralf Heine

Cross-reacting carbohydrate determinants and hymenoptera venom allergy

Brehler, Randolf; Grundmann, Sonja; Stöcker, Benedikt

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Abstract

Purpose of review: Insect venom allergy is an important cause of anaphylaxis. Venom immunotherapy assume the clear identification of the culprit insect, but this is impeded by Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to cross reactive carbohydrate determinant (CCD) epitopes of common glycoproteins. Here we give an overview about inducers, importance, and relevance of anti-N-Glycan CCD IgE antibodies.

Recent findings: Pollen exposure and insect stings induce anti-CCD IgE antibodies interfering with in-vitro tests for allergy diagnosis due to extensive IgE cross-reactivity. Instead of being biologically active these antibodies are irrelevant for allergic reactions due to hymenoptera stings. The general response of the immune system to the ubiquitous exposure to N-glycan containing glycoproteins is still a matter of debate. CCD specific IgG antibodies in sera of bee keepers suggest tolerance induction due to high-dose exposure. Tolerance induction by pollen and food glycoproteins has not been proved.

Summary: Hymenoptera stings and pollen exposure induce anti-CCD IgE. In regard to anaphylaxis due to Hymenoptera stings these antibodies are not clinically relevant, but they are important for the specificity of in-vitro tests proving insect venom allergy. The introduction of component based diagnostic IgE testing improves the specificity of in-vitro tests if proteins devoid of CCD epitopes are used.

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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