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ALEX2® Allergen Test

The ALEX2® Allergen Test is an innovative diagnostic tool designed to identify and quantify allergen-specific IgE antibodies in the blood. This test is crucial in diagnosing and managing allergic diseases, including allergic rhinitis, asthma, atopic dermatitis, and food allergies. By detecting specific IgE antibodies against a wide range of allergens, the ALEX2® test helps healthcare providers identify the underlying triggers of allergic reactions and tailor appropriate treatment plans for affected individuals.

The ALEX2® test allows for IgE multiplexing of about 300 allergens (extracts and molecular allergens) from a small volume serum sample.

The panel includes pollen, mites, cat and dog fur, insect venoms, molds and yeasts, food, or latex, supplemented with total IgE.

The ALEX® Allergen Test offers several clinical applications in the diagnosis and management of allergic diseases:

  • Identification of Allergic Triggers: The test allows for the identification of specific allergens to which an individual is sensitized, including common inhalant allergens (such as pollen, dust mites, and animal dander) and food allergens (such as nuts, eggs, and shellfish). This information is crucial for implementing allergen avoidance strategies and minimizing exposure to triggers.
  • Assessment of Allergy Severity: The quantitative measurement of allergen-specific IgE antibodies provided by the ALEX® test can help assess the severity of allergic sensitization. Higher levels of specific IgE antibodies may correlate with increased symptom severity and the likelihood of allergic reactions upon exposure to the corresponding allergen.
  • Monitoring Allergen Immunotherapy (AIT): The ALEX2® Allergen Test can monitor the efficacy of allergen immunotherapy (AIT), a treatment approach to desensitize individuals to specific allergens. By tracking changes in allergen-specific IgE levels over time, healthcare providers can evaluate the effectiveness of AIT and adjust treatment protocols as needed.

Clinical Significance of the ALEX2® Allergen Test

The ALEX2® Allergen Test offers several clinical benefits for both patients and healthcare providers:

  • Personalized Treatment Approach: By identifying specific allergens to which an individual is sensitized, the test enables healthcare providers to develop customized treatment plans tailored to each patient's unique sensitivities and symptomatology.
  • Improved Patient Outcomes: Targeted allergen avoidance strategies and optimized treatment regimens based on the Alex2 test results can improve symptom control, enhance quality of life, and reduce healthcare utilization for patients with allergic diseases.
  • Cost-Effective Management: Early identification of allergen sensitivities using the ALEX® test can help prevent unnecessary diagnostic testing, minimize exposure to allergens, and facilitate targeted interventions, ultimately leading to cost savings in managing allergic diseases.
ALEX2® allergen profile

Detecting allergen-specific IgE antibodies in serum is crucial in diagnosing type 1 allergies. Conventional determination of individual allergens is often an expensive and lengthy procedure for patients with multiple allergen sensitizations or ambiguous clinical symptoms. A comprehensive allergen screening provides a clear picture of the patient‘s sensitization profile. Thus, it is a powerful tool for correctly diagnosing and preventing allergen exposure. The ALEX® Allergy Explorer allows the simultaneous measurement of the total IgE and specific IgE against nearly 300 allergens, among those 120 extracts and up to 180 allergen components. The test thus covers 99% of all possible type 1 allergen sources and requires a mere 1 ml of blood.

The method

ALEX2® Allergy Explorer is a quantitative solid-phase immunoassay. Specific IgE antibodies from the patient’s serum bind to the allergens (extracts and/or components) on the macroarray. Adding a CCD-inhibitor reduces unspecific reactions and thus increases the test’s specificity. Colorimetric analysis is used to detect bound IgE antibodies. Test results for allergen-specific IgE are reported quantitatively in kUA/l.

The ALEX2® IgE allergen panel consists of 117 extracts and 178 molecular allergens. This represents the most extensive panel of molecular allergens on the market, including 50+ unique molecular allergens. Because molecular allergens can be precisely replicated with high purity, they typically offer better and more reproducible sensitivity. Testing well-defined molecular components of allergens can aid in the differentiation between an allergy that is specific to one allergen and one non-specific to a molecular component found in multiple members of an allergen family.

Additionally, the ALEX2® kit includes 136 recombinant molecular allergens that do not contain cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants (CCDs) and incorporates a powerful blocking agent to prevent the binding of anti-CCD IgE antibodies to CCDs present on some allergen extracts.

The advantages of the ALEX2® test are:

  1. The simultaneous determination of 295 IgE - a wide range of allergens (grasses, trees and weeds), epithelial tissue of animals (domestic and farm), mites (house dust), plant foods (fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, legumes plants, grains and spices), animal foods (meat, milk, egg, fish and seafood), microorganisms and spores (molds and yeasts), insects and toxins (bee, wasp, cockroach), latex, etc.
  2. The test gives a quantitative expression of the result.
  3. CCD inhibition included increasing specificity. Most allergens of plant and insect origin contain cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants (CCDs). Antibodies directed against them cross-react to all proteins containing CCD epitopes. Approximately 25% of patients have anti-CCD IgE, resulting in very positive s IgE results, which reduces the test's specificity. By including a potent CCD inhibitor during sample incubation, non-specific reactions are reduced, and specificity is increased.
  4. Enables the implementation of specific immunotherapy
  5. Risk assessment for the patient - the information obtained allows for avoiding severe allergic reactions to food and other allergens.
  6. Molecular information on cross-reactivity - a high level of total IgE does not provide insight into specific sensitization. Specific antibodies produced against different allergens indicate that the individual has been in contact with a particular allergen, with values above 0.3 kU/L considered positive for that allergen. However, a positive result does not always correlate with the clinical presentation. The ALEX2® test should be appointed before or after consultation with an allergist and an IgE total test. This immunoglobulin guides whether an allergic reaction occurs in a person's body so that tests can be performed to determine the exact types of allergies. For the allergological diagnosis to be accurate and precise, it is first of all necessary for the attending physician to obtain accurate information from the patient about the onset of the complaints, their duration, what caused them, their development over time, whether there are other family members with proven allergy or the same symptoms.
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