Immunological Characterization of Dutch Sesame Seed-Allergic Patients

Teodorowicz, Malgorzata; Terlouw, Rozine J.; Jansen, Ad; Savelkoul, Huub F.J.; Ruinemans-Koerts, Janneke


Background: Sesame seed is an allergen of growing importance worldwide. However, knowledge of the clinically relevant sesame allergen and its cross-reactivity with homologous allergens is limited. The aim of this study was the immunological characterization of Dutch sesame seed-allergic patients and evaluation of cross-reactivity between sesame seed, tree nut and pollen allergens using different sources of allergen extracts. Methods: Six patients with a medical history of sesame seed allergy were included, i.e. 5 with an anaphylactic reaction and 1 with an oral allergy syndrome (OAS). The immunological background of the sesame seed and tree nut IgE sensitization was characterized with Western blotting and a basophil activation test (BAT). The major sesame allergen was identified by nanoLC-MS/MS. Cross-reactivity was measured using an immuno-inhibition assay with the Phadia ImmunoCAP system. Results: Oleosin was identified as the major allergen for the 5 patients with an anaphylactic reaction to sesame seed, but no cross-reactivity between sesame and tree nut proteins was observed. For the patient with OAS, IgE specific to oleosin was not detected but cross-reactivity between sesame seed and tree nut proteins was observed. The BAT and ImmunoCAP inhibition test added value to the clinical and immunological characterization of sesame seed-sensitized patients, distinguishing relevant and non-relevant sensitizations. Conclusions: Our immunological approach enabled us to fully characterize the sensitization pattern of 6 sesame seed-allergic patients. The different protein composition of commercially available allergen extracts influences the outcomes of the immunological assays and thus also the diagnosis to a large extent.