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Vol. 154, No. 3, 2011
Issue release date: February 2011
Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2011;154:258–263

Skin Prick Test Extracts for Dog Allergy Diagnosis Show Considerable Variations Regarding the Content of Major and Minor Dog Allergens

Curin M. · Reininger R. · Swoboda I. · Focke M. · Valenta R. · Spitzauer S.
aClinical Institute for Medical and Chemical Laboratory Diagnostics and bChristian Doppler Laboratory for Allergy Research, Division of Immunopathology, Department of Pathophysiology and Allergy Research, Center for Pathophysiology, Infectiology and Immunology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

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Background: Commercial skin prick test (SPT) extracts used for the diagnosis of dog allergy are prepared by extracting allergens from natural sources, e.g. dog hair and dander. Due to different starting material and extraction methods used, it is likely that extracts differ regarding their allergen contents. Methods: The total protein content and composition of dog SPT extracts from 5 European manufacturers were compared by silver-stained SDS-PAGE. Specific antibody probes were generated to detect major and minor allergens in each extract by immunoblotting. Additionally, sera of patients suffering from dog allergy were used to detect dog allergens in SPT extracts. Results: SPT extracts showed a 20-fold variation regarding the total protein content. The contents of the major dog allergen Can f 1 and of Can f 2 varied considerably between the extracts. In one of the extracts, neither Can f 1 nor Can f 2 could be detected by immunoblotting. The contents of the minor dog allergen Can f 3, albumin, also showed great variability. In one of the dog SPT extracts, the presence of human serum albumin (HSA) was detected with HSA-specific antibodies. Conclusion: The observed variability of commercial dog SPT extracts regarding their allergen contents likely has a negative influence on the accuracy of diagnosis of dog allergy.

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