M C Arilla

BIAL, Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal

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Publications (47)180.58 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Russian thistle (Salsola kali) pollen is an important cause of pollinosis in areas where rainfall is not abundant. Our aim was to develop an ELISA for quantification of the major allergen of S. kali extracts, Sal k 1, and to assess the correlation of this allergen content with the allergenic activity of extracts. Sal k 1 was purified by ion exchange and gel permeation chromatography and identified by mass spectrometry. Monoclonal antibody 4C11 was used for capture at 5 microg/ml and biotin-labeled specific antiserum at 0.25 microg/ml served for detection. The allergenic activity of the pollen extracts was measured by enzyme allergosorbent test inhibition. Sal k 1 reacted to 85% of sera from 40 S. kali-allergic patients and was able to inhibit 92% of the IgE-binding capacity of patients' serum pool to the whole extract. The ELISA had a lineal range between 1.25 and 20 ng/ml of purified Sal k 1. The intra- and interassay coefficients of variation were lower than 5 and 10%, respectively. The assay was very sensitive since it had a detection limit of 0.08 ng/ml. No reactivity was found outside the Amaranthaceae family where only Kochia and Salicornia sp. gave significant reactivity. A good correlation (Spearman's rho = 0.92) was obtained between Sal k 1 content of different S. kali extracts and their IgE-binding activity. The results proved the usefulness of the two-site sandwich ELISA for aeroallergen control and for the standardization of S. kali pollen extracts intended for clinical use.
    International Archives of Allergy and Immunology 02/2010; 152(4):319-26. · 2.25 Impact Factor
  • Clinical & Experimental Allergy 07/2009; 39(7-39 (7)):1088-98. · 4.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Specifically designed recombinant allergens with reduced IgE reactivity are promising candidates for a more defined, effective, and safer specific immunotherapy (SIT). We sought to obtain hypoallergenic hybrid molecules which could potentially be applied to house dust mite (HDM) allergy treatment. Two hybrid molecules (QM1 and QM2) derived from the two major Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus allergens, Der p 1 and Der p 2, were engineered by PCR, produced in Escherichia coli, and purified. The overall IgE-binding capacity of the hybrids was compared with their single components by Western blot, specific IgE, skin prick test (SPT), and IgE-inhibition assays. T cell proliferation assay were performed to confirm their retention of T cell reactivity. Immune responses to the hybrid molecules were studied in BALB/c mice. The IgE reactivity of both hybrid proteins was strongly reduced as evaluated by in vitro methods. Furthermore, in vivo SPTs performed on 106 HDM-allergic patients showed that the hybrid proteins had a significantly lower potency to induce cutaneous reactions than the individual components. Hybrid molecules induced higher T cell proliferation responses than those produced by an equimolecular mixture of Der p 1 and Der p 2. Immunization of mice with the hybrid proteins induced Der p 1- and Der p 2-specific IgG, which inhibited the binding of allergic patients' IgE to these natural allergens. QM1 and QM2 hybrids exhibited less IgE-binding activity but preserved immunogenicity and fulfilled the basic requirements for hypoallergenic molecules suitable for a future SIT of HDM allergy.
    Clinical & Experimental Allergy 05/2009; 39(7):1088-98. · 4.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Anisakis simplex is a nematode parasite that can infect humans who have eaten raw or undercooked seafood. Larvae invading the gastrointestinal mucosa excrete/secrete proteins that are implicated in the pathogenesis of anisakiasis and can induce IgE-mediated symptoms. Since Ani s 1 is a potent secreted allergen with important clinical relevance, its measurement could assess the quality of allergenic products used in diagnosis/immunotherapy of Anisakis allergy and track the presence of A. simplex parasites in fish foodstuffs. An antibody-based ELISA for quantification of Ani s 1 has been developed based on monoclonal antibody 4F2 as capture antibody and biotin-labelled polyclonal antibodies against Ani s 1 as detection reagent. The dose-response standard curves, obtained with natural and recombinant antigens, ranged from 4 to 2000 ng/ml and were identical and parallel to that of the A. simplex extract. The linear portion of the dose-response curve with nAni s 1 was between 15 and 250 ng/ml with inter-assay and intra-assays coefficients of variation less than 20% and 10%, respectively. The assay was specific since there was no cross-reaction with other extracts (except Ascaris extracts) and was highly sensitive (detection limit of 1.8 ng/ml), being able to detect Ani s 1 in fish extracts from codfish and monkfish.
    Parasitology 06/2008; 135(6):735-40. · 2.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Anisakis simplex is a nematode which can parasitize humans, producing anisakiasis and can induce immunoglobulin-(Ig)-E-mediated allergic symptoms. Parasite recombinant proteins, such as the major allergen Ani s 1, may be useful tools to avoid misdiagnosis of A simplex allergy due to cross-reactivity when whole parasite extracts are used. To obtain Ani s 1 allergen as a recombinant protein with IgE-binding properties similar to its natural counterpart. Ani s 1-encoding cDNA was amplified by polymerase chain reaction and cloned. The allergen was expressed in Escherichia coli as a nonfusion protein. Natural and recombinant Ani s 1 were investigated by means of Western blotting, enzyme allergosorbent test, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and ELISA inhibition using sera from 53 patients with A simplex allergy. Residues of the amino acid sequence of the encoded protein were 99.4% identical to the reported one. Purified rAni s 1 was obtained with a yield of 2 mg/L of culture while the yield of the natural counterpart was only 50 micro/g of larvae. rAni s 1 reactivity was not significantly different from that of the natural allergen; the correlation was excellent (p = 0.92, P < .001). ELISA-inhibition experiments showed that the dose-response inhibition curve obtained with rAni s 1 overlapped with that of nAni s 1. In an enzyme allergosorbent analysis, 86.8% of the A simplex-allergic patient sera reacted to rAni s 1. Recombinant Ani s 1 is immunochemically equivalent to its natural counterpart and therefore might be useful for the in vitro diagnosis of anisakiasis and A simplex-mediated allergy.
    Journal of investigational allergology & clinical immunology: official organ of the International Association of Asthmology (INTERASMA) and Sociedad Latinoamericana de Alergia e Inmunología 02/2008; 18(2):78-83. · 1.89 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology - J ALLERG CLIN IMMUNOL. 01/2008; 121(2).
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    ABSTRACT: Despite the use of conventional allergen-specific immunotherapy in clinical practice, more defined, efficient, and safer allergy vaccines are required. The aim of the study was to obtain hypoallergenic molecules by deleting B-cell epitopes, which could potentially be applied to Parietaria judaica pollen allergy treatment. Three hybrid molecules (Q1, Q2, and Q3) derived from fragments of the 2 major P judaica pollen allergens, Par j 1 and Par j 2, were engineered by means of PCR. Hybrid structures were compared with their natural components by means of circular dichroism, and their biologic activities were compared by using T-cell proliferation assays. Their IgE-binding activity was determined with Western blotting, skin prick tests, and enzyme allergosorbent and ELISA inhibition tests. The hybrid proteins, especially Q2 and Q3, revealed significantly reduced IgE reactivity compared with the natural allergens, as well as with the whole P judaica extract. Furthermore, in vivo skin prick tests showed that the hybrid proteins had a significantly lower potency to induce cutaneous reactions than the whole P judaica extract. Two (Q1 and Q2) of the 3 hybrid proteins induced a comparable T-cell proliferation response as that produced by the whole extract and natural allergens. Considering its reduced anaphylactogenic potential, together with its conserved T-cell reactivity, the engineered Q2 protein could be used in safe and shortened schedules of allergen-specific immunotherapy against P judaica pollen allergy. Recombinant hybrid Q2 is able to induce T-cell proliferation, thus evidencing a potential therapeutic effect. Its reduced IgE-binding capacity envisages an excellent safety profile.
    Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 10/2007; 120(3):602-9. · 12.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) belongs to the Compositae family, and is one of the main causes of allergy in late summer and autumn. The aim of the study was to characterize the allergen Art v 2 from mugwort pollen. Skin prick tests, performed in 19 patients allergic to mugwort and 10 control patients, showed an Art v 2 sensitization prevalence of 58%, whereas none false-positives were detected among control patients. Art v 2 was purified by standard chromatography and binding to Concanavalin A column and had an apparent molecular mass of 33 and 20 kDa, calculated by gel permeation and SDS-PAGE under denaturing conditions, respectively, showing that the allergen is composed of two identical subunits. Art v 2-encoding cDNA was amplified by PCR using degenerate primers based on reported partial amino acid sequences. Cloned cDNA encoding Art v 2 contains 140 bp that codify for a polypeptide of 15.8 kDa, with a predicted pI value of 5.2, and one potential N-glycosylation site. Protein homology search demonstrated that Art v 2 share 55-42% identical residues with pathogenesis-related protein PR-1 of tomato, potato, rape, wheat and rice. Homology was also found to Ves v 5 (41% identical residues). Bacterial-expressed recombinant Art v 2 was recognized only by 21% of mugwort-allergic patients. In conclusion, Art v 2 from mugwort is the first weed pollen allergen that belongs to the pathogenesis-related protein PR-1 and its recombinant form could help molecular diagnosis of mugwort associated allergy.
    Molecular Immunology 08/2007; 44(15):3653-60. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The physicochemical modification of allergen vaccines provides a chance for administering higher doses in a shorter period of time. We sought to assess the safety and immunological changes of using a biologically standardized and modified Parietaria judaica pollen extract in accelerated schedules. Two accelerated schedules were tested in 45 P. judaica-allergic patients: 20 patients reached the maximum dose after two visits using two different concentrations and 25 patients reached the maximum dose after only one visit with two injections of the maximum concentration vial. The tolerance was assessed by recording all side effects related with immunotherapy. Specific antibody levels against native extract and rPar j 2 allergen were evaluated at the beginning and the end of the study. Allergenic potency determined by enzyme allergosorbent test (EAST) inhibition and skin prick test showed that modified P. judaica pollen had a 99.9% less allergenicity than native extract. After 650 doses administered, two clinically irrelevant local reactions (diameter<0 x 5 cm) and no systemic reactions were registered. Significant increases in allergen-specific IgG4 and IgG against P. judaica extract and rPar j 2 and significant decrease of specific IgE against Par j 2 were observed. The modified extract of P. judaica is safe to treat sensitive patients, even at accelerated regimens, and induces significant immunological changes.
    Clinical & Experimental Immunology 03/2007; 147(3):491-6. · 3.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Parietaria judaica pollen is one of the main causes of allergic diseases in the Mediterranean area and contains two major allergens, called Par j 1 and Par j 2. To evaluate the diagnostic potential of natural and recombinant forms of Par j 1 and Par j 2 in comparison with standardized P. judaica pollen extract. Thirty patients allergic to P. judaica pollen and 15 control patients were investigated. Skin prick tests and determination of specific IgE levels were performed with commercial P. judaica extract, natural Par j 1 and Par j 2, and recombinant forms of both allergens expressed in P. pastoris. The whole group of patients with allergy to P. judaica had a positive skin test reaction to purified nPar j 1-Par j 2 and rPar j 2 at 5 microg/mL, and no false-positive reactions were detected. Natural and recombinant Par j 1 and Par j 2 showed no significantly different responses in skin tests compared with P. judaica extract. A high correlation was found between the serum-specific IgE levels to P. judaica extract vs. natural (R=0.996; P<0.001) and recombinant allergens (R=0.887 and 0.982 for rPar j 1 and rPar j 2, respectively; P<0.001). rPar j 2 displayed a 100% sensitivity and specificity among P. judaica-allergic patients. In vivo and in vitro diagnosis of P. judaica pollen allergy could be simplified using rPar j 2. This protein showed comparable IgE response and skin prick reactivity with those produced by P. judaica pollen extract.
    Clinical & Experimental Allergy 03/2007; 37(2):243-50. · 4.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In patients with pollinosis, allergic symptoms are often correlated with the number of airborne pollen grains, although this correlation is not always close. The direct measurement of the concentration of aeroallergens has only recently been introduced and is an important advance in public health information systems. To compare specific quantification of aeroallergens Ole e 1 and Par j 1-Par j 2 Olea and Urticaceae pollen counts. The Hirst method sampler and the Burkard Cyclone sampler were used for pollen count and allergen quantification, respectively. The aerosol was extracted and quantified for Ole e 1 and Par j 1-Par j 2 content using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay procedures. Day-to-day variations were observed in both the pollen count and the amount of allergens. Pollen counts and aeroallergen quantification were closely correlated with 99% significance (Olea/Ole e 1: R = 0.892, P < .001; Urticaceae/Par j 1-Par j 2: R = 0.734, P < .001). The technique for the sampling and quantification of aeroallergens presented in this article, based on enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and applied to the protein extracts directly obtained from the bioaerosol, represents an important advance in the epidemiologic study of allergic respiratory diseases.
    Annals of allergy, asthma & immunology: official publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology 07/2006; 96(6):858-64. · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Parietaria pollen is one of the most important causes of pollinosis in Mediterranean countries. Parietaria judaica pollen extract presents two major allergens, Par j 1 and Par j 2, that belong to the lipid transfer protein family. To develop an ELISA for quantification of both major allergens of P. judaica pollen extracts, and to assert correlation of these allergens content with the allergenic activity of extracts. Natural Par j 1-Par j 2 allergens were purified by gel filtration, ion exchange, and affinity chromatography and identified by mass spectrometry. Rabbit antisera were obtained using this protein preparation as antigen and used for immunoaffinity purification of nPar j 1-Par j 2. BALB/c mice were immunized with the immunopurified nPar j 1-Par j 2 and after fusion and screening by direct ELISA, 5D4 monoclonal antibody was selected as capture antibody to develop a quantitative two-site ELISA. Bound proteins were detected by a biotinylated Par j 1-Par j 2-specific polyclonal antibody. The optimized ELISA was developed from 25 to 8000 pg/mL of purified Par j 1-Par j 2, and a linear portion of 200-1000 pg/mL. The intraassay and interassay coefficients of variation were lower than 7% and 14% respectively. The assay was very sensitive and specific as it had a detection limit of 25 pg/mL and did not detect reactivity with the same family plants, as Urtica. Par j 1-Par j 2 allergens content was measured in 14 P. judaica and two P. officinalis pollen extracts showing a significant correlation with their allergenic activity measured by enzyme allergosorbent test inhibition. The results proved the usefulness of the two-sandwich ELISA for the standardization of Parietaria pollen extracts intended for clinical use, because of its good correlation with allergenic potency.
    Clinical & Experimental Allergy 02/2006; 36(1):87-93. · 4.79 Impact Factor
  • Annals of Allergy Asthma & Immunology - ANN ALLERGY ASTHMA IMMUNOL. 01/2006; 96(6):858-864.
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    ABSTRACT: Platanus acerifolia is an important cause of pollinosis in Western European cities. Pla a 1, a nonglycosylated 18-kDa protein with a prevalence of 80%, is a major allergen in P. acerifolia pollen extracts. Our aim was to develop a Pla a 1-specific ELISA to quantify this protein in allergenic extracts and preparations for clinical use. Pla a 1 was purified by cation exchange at pH 7.0, gel filtration, and anion exchange chromatography at pH 10.0. Monoclonal (mAb) and polyclonal antibodies were obtained by immunizing mice and rabbits with nPla a 1. One (5C1) of the 13 mAb obtained was used as capture antibody at 5 mug/ml and biotin-labeled specific polyclonal antiserum at 0.63 microg/ml served for detection. The prevalence of Pla a 1-specific IgE to purified Pla a 1 among 47 P. acerifolia-allergic patients was 79%. The Pla a 1-ELISA developed has a linear range of 3-25 ng/ml, high sensitivity with a detection limit of 0.5 ng/ml and is highly specific as none of the 24 pollen, mite, mold, and plant food extracts tested gave positive results. The assay could quantify Pla a 1-like proteins in other planetree pollen extracts. A good correlation was obtained between Pla a 1 content of 11 P. acerifolia pollen extracts (average content 0.69% of the total protein) and their IgE-binding activity. The described two-site sandwich ELISA to measure Pla a 1 is useful for standardization of planetree pollen extracts intended for clinical use.
    International Archives of Allergy and Immunology 11/2005; 138(2):127-33. · 2.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Platanus acerifolia (Aiton) Willdenow is a plane tree, widely grown as an ornamental tree in many cities of the United States and Western Europe, which has become an important source of airborne allergens in our cities. The aim of the present study is to immunolocalize the major allergens in the pollen grain and to examine their potential function in the fertilization process. Observations were made in mature and hydrated, activated pollen of P. acerifolia for 5, 15, 30min and 2h in the germination medium. Specimens were fixed using freezing protocols for transmission electron microscopy (TEM). For immunogold labelling, cryosections and resin-embedded ultrathin sections were incubated using rabbit antisera against the purified pollen allergens Pla a 1 and Pla a 2. Elution of P. acerifolia allergens took place after 5min of pollen incubation in buffered medium. Intense labelling of Pla a 1 and Pla a 2 was detected after pollen exudates were released. In pollen grains, Pla a 1 was predominantly localized in concentric cisternae of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), situated between the vegetative nucleus and the generative cell, and was released from pollen grains 5min after hydration; cytoplasmic localization decreased 15min after hydration. In pollen grains, glycoprotein Pla a 2 was abundant in association with Golgi cisternae and vesicles situated in the apertural periphery of the mature pollen grains. Pla a 2 proteins were also detected in ER and in the generative cell wall. Immunolabelling of Pla a 2 decreased 5min after pollen hydration but was again intense after 15–30min in germination medium, presumably as a consequence of renewed expression and glycosylation of this protein. Pla a 1 belongs to a new class of allergens related to proteinaceous invertase and pectin methyl esterase inhibitors (PII, PMEI) which could be involved in membrane protection and pectin de-esterification control during pollen hydration. Pla a 2 has an exopolygalacturonase (PG) enzymatic activity consistent with pollen-stigma adhesion mechanisms or compatibility systems. Moreover, the expression of Pla a 2 found 15–30min after hydration might contribute to pollen-tube growth and the modification of transmitting tissue cell walls. The abundant production and elution of Pla a 1 and Pla a 2 proteins may alter the environment in which pollen tube elongation occurs, thus promoting a potential crosstalk between the pollen and the gynoecium.
    Sexual Plant Reproduction 10/2005; 18(3):101-112. · 2.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Up to now, some date palm pollen (DPP) allergens have been described but very few data are available about their molecular nature. The aim of this study was to identify and characterize Pho d 2, a major allergen from this pollen. Sera from 25 patients allergic to DPP were analysed by immunoblotting. Purification of DPP profilin was performed by poly-l-proline affinity chromatography. Profilin-encoding cDNA from DPP was cloned by using a RT-PCR strategy and recombinant allergen was expressed as a non-fusion protein in Escherichia coli. Natural and recombinant Pho d 2 were investigated by means of enzyme allergosorbent test to compare the immunologic properties of both allergens and to analyse cross-reactivity with other profilins. A 14.4 kDa protein was identified as a major allergen in DPP extract. Purification, cloning, heterologous expression, and inhibition experiments identified it as profilin (Pho d 2). Pho d 2 comprises 131 amino acids and has high sequence identity with other allergenic food and pollen profilins. The prevalence of specific IgE antibody reactivity to natural Pho d 2 by ELISA was 56% and 64% by skin prick test (SPT). Pho d 2 is an important allergen as it is responsible for more than 70% of the IgE reactivity to the pollen extract. IgE directed against Pho d 2 showed a strong cross-reactivity with other profilins such as those from olive tree and grass pollens. Pho d 2, a 14.4 kDa protein identified as profilin, is a major and relevant allergen in DPP, as confirmed by SPT and thereby may elicit clinical symptoms in sensitized patients.
    Clinical & Experimental Allergy 04/2005; 35(3):374-81. · 4.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The fungus Alternaria is strongly associated with asthma, but the importance of fungal allergen products is frequently underestimated. The profile of allergen release from fungal material is poorly understood. To investigate expression of the major allergen of Alternaria alternata, Alt a 1, during its growth in culture conditions for allergen extract production. Allergen expression was examined by Alt a 1-specific 2-site monoclonal antibody enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, immunoblotting, and potency assays. The release of Alt a 1 was studied by transmission electron microscopy in conjunction with immunogold staining by using antibodies with specificity for Alt a 1. A maximum amount of Alt a 1 was obtained after 4.5 weeks of growing, and it was found predominantly in the spent culture medium. In the same way, total IgE binding activity showed 15-fold more activity in the spent culture medium than in the buffer-extractable antigen fraction. Immunogold electron microscopy provided evidence that Alt a 1 is released from spores and mycelia. Alternaria alternata allergenic proteins were constantly released into the culture medium, where they accumulated. Alt a 1 was a good marker for checking optimal culture conditions for A alternata extract production intended for clinical use.
    Annals of allergy, asthma & immunology: official publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology 01/2005; 93(6):589-93. · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Planetree pollen allergy is a clinical disorder affecting human populations in cities of the United States and Western Europe, but little is known about its relevant allergens. We sought to purify, characterize, and clone the 43-kd allergen from Platanus acerifolia. P acerifolia pollen extract was fractionated by using ion-exchange and gel-permeation chromatography. Analyses were carried out by using ELISA, SDS-PAGE, isoelectrofocusing, and immunoblotting. Partial amino acid sequence was obtained by means of Edman sequencing of cyanogen bromide-digested peptides. Specific cDNA was cloned by using reverse transcription, followed by PCR, with amino acid sequences from peptides of the allergen. The allergen isolated from P acerifolia pollen, Pla a 2, is a glycoprotein with an observed molecular mass of 43 kd and an isoelectric point value of 9.3. It is involved in the allergic responses of 84% of patients with planetree-induced pollinosis and represented 52% of the total IgE-binding capacity of the P acerifolia extract. Pla a 2 displays polygalacturonase (PG) activity, being the first PG with functional enzyme activity from an angiosperm plant pollen described as an allergen. The cDNA allergen sequence codified for a 372-residue protein with 56% and 42% sequence identity to PGs from pollen and fruits, respectively. Western blot analysis showed that Pla a 2 is present in pollen and stems and has IgG cross-reactivity with a PG from tomato and pectate lyases from Cupressaceae pollen. Pla a 2, a major allergen of P acerifolia pollen with PG activity has been purified, characterized, and cloned.
    Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 07/2004; 113(6):1185-91. · 12.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cypress pollen allergy is an important cause of rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma in Mediterranean countries. Cypress allergenic extracts are difficult to produce since they have low protein and high carbohydrate content, thus accurate standardization of them is essential to guarantee their quality. The aim of this study is to develop a sandwich ELISA for the quantification of Cup a 1, the major allergen of cypress (Cupressus arizonica) pollen extract. Monoclonal antibodies directed to purified Cup a 1 were produced. Two of them (9C7 as capture antibody and 3D2 as the tracer) were selected to develop a quantitative sandwich ELISA. This ELISA was subsequently evaluated and compared with other techniques. The described ELISA is very sensitive with a detection limit of 8.7 ng/ml and a practical working range of 62.5-1,000 ng/ml. The assay is also highly reproducible with intra-assay and interassay coefficients of variation of less than 10%. The purified Cup a 1, used as standard, presents pectate lyase enzymatic activity. The assay also detected Cup a 1-like proteins in pollen from other Cupressaceae. A good correlation was obtained between Cup a 1 content of 12 C. arizonica pollen extracts and their IgE-binding activity. The described Cup a 1 ELISA is sensitive, specific and reproducible and can be used for the quantification of Cup a 1 in C. arizonica and other related pollen extracts. It also provides a reliable indication of the allergenic activity of the whole cypress pollen extract.
    International Archives of Allergy and Immunology 06/2004; 134(1):10-6. · 2.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Allergoids are widely used in specific immunotherapy (SIT) for the treatment of IgE-mediated allergic diseases, but all techniques for standardization of conventional allergic extracts may not be appropriate for standardization of a glutaraldehyde (GA)-modified extract because of the unique characteristics of these extracts. To assess an accurate methodology for standardization of chemically modified extracts. GA-modified extracts from Parietaria judaica pollen were purified by diafiltration. Biochemical properties were investigated by determination of amino groups, chromatography, and SDS-PAGE. The IgE-binding activity was determined by skin prick test, enzyme allergosorbent test inhibition, basophil activation, and histamine release tests. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from P. judaica pollen-allergic subjects were stimulated with either native or allergoid extracts, and proliferation was measured. Biochemical data indicated a high degree of allergen polymerization resulting in extract components higher than 100 kDa. IgE-binding activity, both in vivo and in vitro, was reduced by more than 99.8%. Both allergen and allergoid induced PBMC proliferation and synthesis of blocking IgG antibodies at similar rates. Moreover, no evidence of introduction of new determinants by chemical modification was found. The preparation of GA-modified extracts by diafiltration is faster and more reliable than previous chromatographic methods. These modified extracts have drastically reduced their allergenicity while maintaining their immunogenicity, and therefore they can be used in safer and shortened schedules of SIT.
    Clinical & Experimental Allergy 03/2004; 34(2):303-9. · 4.79 Impact Factor