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Supplementary Material for: Prevalence and Impact of Type I Sensitization to Alpha-Gal in Patients Consulting an Allergy Unit

posted on 05.12.2019, 15:02 by Fischer J., Huynh H.-N., Hebsaker J., Forchhammer S., Yazdi A.S.
Background: Alpha-gal syndrome is a complex allergy with high clinical relevance regarding mammalian-derived food and drugs and is characterized by the presence of IgE antibodies directed at the carbohydrate galactose-α-1,3-galactose. As not all alpha-gal sIgE-positive individuals pre­sent clinical symptoms upon consumption of mammalian meat, the diagnostic value of alpha-gal sIgE has yet to be clarified. Objective: To investigate the prevalence of alpha-gal-sIgE positivity among allergy patients, examine the impact of tick bites as associated risk factors and determine the diagnostic value of alpha-gal-sIgE positivity. Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study evaluating patients in the Allergy Unit was performed. Alpha-gal-sIgE levels were assessed by ImmunoCAP assay. Exposure to tick bites was assessed by a questionnaire. A receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve analysis was performed to determine the diagnostic value of alpha-gal sIgE for the diagnosis of alpha-gal syndrome. Results: In the study population (n = 1369), the overall prevalence of alpha-gal-sIgE-positive (≥0.10 kUA/L) individuals was 19.9%, and the highest prevalence (30.2%) was found in patients with insect venom allergies. A reported tick bite within the 12 months prior to blood sampling significantly increased the risk of alpha-gal-sIgE positivity (OR 2.084). The ROC curve analysis indicated alpha-gal sIgE ≥0.54 kUA/L as the optimal cutoff point for assessing the diagnostic value of alpha-gal syndrome in allergy patients. Conclusions: In allergy care settings, alpha-gal-sIgE positivity is a common finding. Alpha-gal sIgE is a sensitive marker in the diagnosis of alpha-gal syndrome but has limited predictive value for the characteristics or severity of this allergy.