Increasing dairy consumption in China has been accompanied by rising incidence of milk allergy. Here we analyzed profiles of specific immunoglobulin E (sIgE) against cow's milk proteins, and assessed their value for milk allergy diagnosis among infants and young children from northern China.Methods:
Sera collected from 48 patients with milk allergy and 27 negative control subjects was analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to measure sIgE to α-lactalbumin (Bos d 4), β-lactoglobulin (Bos d 5), α-casein (Bos d 9), β-casein (Bos d 11), and κ-casein (Bos d 12).Results:
Among milk-allergic individuals, most were sensitized to at least one milk protein; about half were sensitized to Bos d 5, Bos d 9, Bos d 11 and Bos d 12, respectively, while few had positive serum sIgE against Bos d 4. Bos d 12 sIgE had the largest area under curve (AUC) (0.878; 95% CI, 0.800–0.957) and thus showed the best diagnostic performance in discriminating between milk-allergic and non-milk allergic patients, with a sensitivity of 92.6% and specificity of 72.9% using a statistically optimal cut-off value (OD450nm, 0.191). The combinations of Bos d 5 + Bos d 12 showed an AUC of 0.926, which was larger than for any individual components.Conclusions:
Our results revealed inter-individual variation in the sensitization to different milk allergen component. Bos d 12 sIgE showed best performance in diagnosing milk allergy. Milk allergy diagnostic accuracy was further improved using combinations of milk allergen components by application of ROC curves based on logistic regression.