Isolated IgE reactivity to native walnut vicilin-like protein (nJug r 2) on ISAC™ microarray is due to cross-reactive carbohydrate epitopes

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The last version of the microarray-based testing ImmunoCAP ISAC 112TM includes the native walnut (Junglans regia) molecules 2S albumin (nJug r 1), vicilin (nJug r 2) and lipid transfer protein (nJug r 3). In view of the many unexpected cases of isolated positivity to nJug r 2 occurring in daily practice, we evaluated the association of these reactivities with clinical symptoms, as well as the relationship between sIgE and nJug r 2 and cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants (CCDs).


Sera from 320 consecutive allergic outpatients tested by ImmuoCAP ISAC™ 112 were considered. The medical records of all nJug r 2 positive patients were reviewed to assess clinical symptoms related to walnut allergy. A linear regression analysis was performed to evaluate the correlation between nJug r 2 and CCDs (nMUXF3) sIgE values, and a CAP inhibition assay was carried out to confirm the possible cross-reactivity between CCDs and nJug r 2.


Thirty-seven out of 320 sera tested (11.6%) were positive to nJug r 2. Among them three (8.1%) and eight (21.6%) scored positive for nJug r 1 and nJug r 3 as well, respectively. Twenty-seven (73%) sera showed isolated nJug r 2 positivity. Only nJug r 1 reactors had symptoms referred to walnut allergy. Twenty-five/37 nJug r 2-positive sera (67.6%) showed a simultaneous positivity to nMUXF3 and a significant correlation (p<0.0001) between the IgE levels to nJug r2 and nMUXF3 (r2=0.787). After incubation with nMUXF3 a complete inhibition of sIgE reactivity to both nMUXF3 and nJug r 2 was shown.


The unexpected isolated sIgE reactivity to nJug r 2 found by ImmunoCAP ISAC™ 112 is frequently related to reactivity to cross-reactive carbohydrate epitopes and it is lacking clinical significance.

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