Supplementary Material for: Detection of the Peanut Allergens Ara h 2 and Ara h 6 in Human Breast Milk: Development of 2 Sensitive and Specific Sandwich ELISA Assays
Background: Little is known about breast milk as a vehicle for tolerance development or sensitization to peanuts very early in life. Thus, well-characterized and highly sensitive detection systems for the reliable determination of peanut allergens in breast milk are mandatory. Methods: For the quantification of the marker allergens Ara h 2 and Ara h 6 in the low nanogram per milliliter range in breast milk samples of a German cohort, sensitive and highly specific sandwich ELISAs were optimized and validated. Results: The Ara h 2 ELISA revealed a limit of detection (LOD) of 1.3 ng Ara h 2/mL and a quantification range of 2.3-250 ng/mL, the Ara h 6 ELISA showed an LOD of 0.7 ng/mL and a working range of 1.1-14.4 ng/mL. The assays showed no relevant cross-reactivity against other potentially cross-reactive legume, seed, and tree nut extracts (<0.01%, except for Ara h 1 in the Ara h 2 ELISA <0.1%). Ara h 2 was detectable in breast milk samples from 14/40 (35%) of the participants in concentrations from 2.3 to 184 ng/mL, Ara h 6 appeared in 9/40 (22.5%) of the lactating mothers between 1.1 and 9.7 ng/mL, and 1 highly positive sample with 79 ng/mL. Both allergens appeared at the same time points, but Ara h 6 in lower concentrations than Ara h 2. Conclusions: Sensitive and specific diagnostic tools for the determination of Ara h 2 and Ara h 6 in human breast milk were established. The kinetics of secreted Ara h 2 and Ara h 6 seem to be similar but with a difference in concentration. Follow-up investigations on their tolerogenic or sensitizing properties in breast milk become now accessible.