AbstractBACKGROUND:Skin prick testing (SPT) is an important step in the diagnosis of IgE-mediated occupational allergic diseases. The outcome of SPT is related to the quality of allergen extracts. Thus, the aim of the study was to assess different commercially available SPT solutions for selected occupational allergens.METHODS:SPT was performed in 116 bakers, 47 farmers and 33 subjects exposed to natural rubber latex (NRL), all with work-related allergic symptoms. The SPT solutions from different manufacturers (n = 3-5) for wheat flour, rye flour, soy, cow hair/dander, storage mites (Tyrophagus putrescentiae, Lepidoglyphus destructor, Acarus siro) and NRL were analysed with respect to their protein and antigen contents. SPT was carried out in 16 allergy centres in six European countries using standardized procedures. Specific IgE values were used as the gold standard to calculate the sensitivity and specificity of SPT solutions. The optimal cut-point for each SPT solution was determined by Youden Index.RESULTS:Protein and antigen contents and patterns of the SPT solutions varied remarkably depending on the manufacturer. While SPT solutions for wheat flour and soy reached overall low sensitivities, sensitivities of other tested SPT solutions depended on the manufacturer. As a rule, solutions with higher protein and antigen content showed higher sensitivities and test efficiencies.CONCLUSIONS:There is a wide variability of SPT solutions for occupational allergens, and the sensitivity of several solutions is low. Thus, improvement and standardization of SPT solutions for occupational allergens is essential.
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