Supplementary Material for: Do Plantago lanceolata Skin Prick Test-Positive Patients Display IgE to Genuine Plantain Pollen Allergens? Investigation of Pollen Allergic Patients from the North-East of France

Background: English plantain (Plantago lanceolata) is an important weed pollen allergen source triggering allergic symptoms during summer. To elucidate genuine versus cross-reactive sensitization, we investigated IgE reactivity patterns and inhibition capacities of plantain-sensitized patients. Methods: Sera of 35 rhinoconjunctivitis patients from the north-east of France with positive skin prick tests (SPT) to Plantago lanceolata pollen were tested with clinically relevant allergen sources using ELISA, ImmunoCAP, and immunoblot inhibition. Results: The patients were multisensitized with additional reactivity to grass (94.3%), ash (74.3%), birch (71.4%), and mugwort (55.2%) pollen in SPT. Sensitization prevalence to allergen molecules was 34.3% (Pla l 1), 94.3% (Phl p 1/5), 60.0% (Ole e 1), 65.7% (Bet v 1), 37.1% (profilin), and 40.0% (CCD). In immunoblot, IgE reactivity to plantain pollen was inhibited with relevant pollen extracts and purified rPla l 1. Two sera did not reveal any IgE cross-reactivity, while reactivity to plantain was efficiently inhibited by grass pollen in the sera of 10 patients. The sera from 17 different patients could be inhibited by grass, birch, or ash pollen to varying degrees. Thus, only 37.1% of our patients demonstrated true plantain pollen sensitization, while 62.9% were solely positive due to IgE cross-reactive molecules from other clinically relevant pollen. Conclusions: Plantain pollen-sensitized patients are multi-reactors demonstrating varying and complex IgE-reactivity profiles. In vivo and in vitro tests using extracts are typically blurred due to the presence of homologous allergens or CCD in grass, birch, or ash pollen. So far, Pla l 1 represents the only indicative marker allergen for the diagnosis of genuine plantain pollen sensitization.