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01.12.2012 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

Clinical and Molecular Allergy 1/2012

Specific IgE response to different grass pollen allergen components in children undergoing sublingual immunotherapy

Clinical and Molecular Allergy > Ausgabe 1/2012
Francesco Marcucci, Laura Sensi, Cristoforo Incorvaia, Ilaria Dell’Albani, Giuseppe Di Cara, Franco Frati
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1476-7961-10-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interest

Francesco Marcucci and Cristoforo Incorvaia are scientific consultants for Stallergenes Italy.
Ilaria Dell’Albani and Franco Frati are employees of Stallergenes Italy.

Authors’ contribution

FM conceived the study, participated in its design and analysed the results. LS participated in the study design and carried out the tests. CI analysed the results and participated to writing the manuscript. ID participated to writing the manuscript. GD carried out the tests, analysed the results and participated to writing the manuscript. FF participated in the study design, analysed the results and participated to writing the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Grass pollen is a major cause of respiratory allergy worldwide and contain a number of allergens, some of theme (Phl p 1, Phl p 2, Phl p 5, and Phl 6 from Phleum pratense, and their homologous in other grasses) are known as major allergens. The administration of grass pollen extracts by immunotherapy generally induces an initial rise in specific immunoglobulin E (sIgE) production followed by a progressive decline during the treatment. Some studies reported that immunotherapy is able to induce a de novo sensitisation to allergen component previously unrecognized.


We investigated in 30 children (19 males and 11 females, mean age 11.3 years), 19 treated with sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) by a 5-grass extract and 11 untreated, the sIgE and sIgG4 response to the different allergen components.


Significant increases (p < 0.001) were detected for Phl p 1, Phl p 2, Phl p 5, and Phl p 6, while sIgE levels induced in response to Phl p 7 and Phl p 12 were low or absent at baseline and unchanged following SLIT treatment; no new sensitisation was detected. As to IgG4, significant increases were found for Phl p2 and Phl p 5, while the increase for Phl p 12 was not significant. In the control group, no significant increase in sIgE for any single allergen component was found.


These findings confirm that the initial phase of SLIT with a grass pollen extract enhances the sIgE synthesis and show that the sIgE response concerns the same allergen components which induce IgE reactivity during natural exposure.
Authors’ original file for figure 1
Authors’ original file for figure 2
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