Assessment of allergenicity to Mallotus phillipensis pollen in atopic patients in India: A new allergen


Pollen grains of the Euphorbiaceae family are well known causative agents of respiratory allergies in India, European countries and USA. Mallotus phillipensis belongs to the same family and may have some common allergenic properties. It has thus been evaluated for the first time in Indian population for its pollinosis causing properties.
Pollen antigen of Mallotus phillipensis (MP) was extracted and characterized for its protein components by biochemical methods. Pollinosis potency of crude extract of MP pollen was evaluated by skin prick test on population residing in different parts of India. Specific IgE binding characteristics of the extract were determined by ELISA and Immunoblot.
Marked skin reactivity in 5.7% atopic population was recorded and subjects constituting 23.8% of the total patients tested showed skin sensitivity to the MP pollen antigen. Significantly raised specific IgE against MP pollen were recorded in 50% of the skin test positive patients. A number of protein bands were detected in a wide Molecular weight range as well as in acidic pI range, by SDS-PAGE and IEF, respectively. A total 11 protein fractions were detected by the specific IgE antibodies on immunoblotting with patient's sera and were considered allergenic.
Patients from different geographical regions have shown sensitization to MP pollen antigen. Many proteins have similar molecular weights and pI as other allergenic members of the family (Ricinus communis and Putranjiva roxburghii) found in India, which constitutes a good reason for studying cross reactivity among the members of family Euphorbiaceae, in the future.

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