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Component-resolved diagnosis, Immunotherapy, Recombinant allergens, Molecular allergy diagnosis, Pollen allergy, Children
Introduction: Specific immunotherapy (SIT) is used to treat asthma and allergic rhinitis, and a dose-response relationship has been found for SIT efficacy, creating a need to accurately select the allergen used in therapy. This need is especially pronounced in poly-sensitized children living in areas where different pollen allergen sources coexist in the same season, as this circumstance complicates diagnostic efforts. In such cases, component-resolved diagnosis (CRD) can increase diagnostic accuracy and aid in SIT prescription.
Materials and Methods: We hypothesized that CRD results would lead to modifications in classical immunotherapy prescription based on sources such as medical history, season of symptom presentation, and skin testing. We studied a sample of children indicated for immunotherapy in whom classical methods had not pointed out the most relevant allergen due to sensitization to more than two pollens. We used a small panel of recombinant allergens, analyzing the percentage of changes to prescription considering the findings of molecular studies.
Results: Of the 70 children included, CRD led to modified immunotherapy prescription in 54.3%. Indications of single-allergen therapy increased from 18% to 51% when CRD was included. The decision to prescribe immunotherapy was reversed following CRD in 9.3% of cases.
Discussion: CRD use alters the choice of specific immunotherapy in poly-sensitized children. A wide panel of recombinant allergens may not be necessary to improve immunotherapy indication using molecular techniques; rather, a smaller panel adapted to include those allergens prevalent in the geographical area in question appears to be sufficient for more effective immunotherapy, also leading to an improved cost-benefit ratio.
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