Subproject 4: Confirmation of reduced allergenic Potential

Prof. Dr. Kirsten Beyer

Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Klinik für Pädiatrie m.S. Pneumologie, Immunologie und Intensivmedizin

Peanut allergy is a common food allergy, especially in children, often leading to severe allergic reactions that are potentially life-threatening. Mustard allergy is less common in Germany, but it can also cause severe reactions in patients. The aim of the Charité subproject is to test the hypoallergenicity of the produced, modified peanut and mustard plants using serum samples from allergic patients.

Part A: Patients with clinically relevant food allergies to peanut and mustard are identified and serum samples are taken: Many people have food-specific IgE antibodies in their blood. However, this sensitization does not mean that the person is actually allergic to the food. Despite detection of allergen-specific IgE, clinical tolerance may exist. A food allergy is only present if sensitized people also show clinically an allergic reaction to the food. If there is a suspicion, an oral food challenge is the most accurate diagnostic test. The first goal of the subproject is therefore to identify patients with clinically relevant peanut and/or mustard allergies and to obtain biosamples for testing the modified allergens.

Part B Component resolved diagnostics is used to determine the allergen profile in individual patients: In patients with peanut allergy, the seed storage proteins (2S albumin, 7S and 11S globulin) of the peanut play an important role as allergens. Mustard also contains such seed storage proteins that can be recognized by certain IgE antibodies of the patient. The second goal of the subproject is therefore to determine the allergen-specific IgE profile of the patients in the blood samples obtained using molecular allergy diagnostics and to identify patients who recognize Ara h 1 or Bra j 1.

Part C Testing of hypoallergenic peanuts and mustard seeds with identified serum samples: The aim of the third subproject is to verify that the allergen-reduced peanut and mustard seeds are actually no longer recognized as allergens. Therefore, immunoblots with regular and hypoallergenic peanuts or mustard will be established and performed. In addition to IgE binding with respect to Ara h 1 and Bra j 1, the recognition profile of the other peanut and mustard allergens will also be assessed.

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