The CD63 basophil activation test in Hymenoptera venom allergy: a prospective study.

The basophil activation test (BAT), which relies on flow cytometric quantitation of the allergen-induced up-regulation of the granule-associated marker CD63 in peripheral blood basophils, has been suggested to be a useful approach in detecting responsiveness to allergens. The purpose of this study was to establish the usefulness of the BAT with regard to the clinical history and current diagnostic tools in Hymenoptera venom allergy using a prospective study design.
Fifty-seven consecutive patients allergic to Hymenoptera venom as defined by a systemic reaction after an insect sting, and 30 age- and sex-matched control subjects with a negative history were included. The degree and nature of sensitization was confirmed by skin testing, specific immunoglobulin E (IgE), serum tryptase levels and BAT. In the nonallergic control group only analysis of specific IgE and BAT were performed. Correlation of BAT, skin test and specific IgE, respectively, with the clinical history in the allergic group was termed as sensitivity and in the control group as specificity.
Twenty one of 23 (91.3%) bee venom allergic patients and 29 of 34 (85.3%) patients allergic to wasp and hornet venom tested positive in BAT. The overall sensitivity of BAT, specific IgE and skin tests were 87.7, 91.2 and 93.0%, respectively. The overall specificities were 86.7% for BAT and 66.7% for specific IgE. No correlation between the severity of clinical symptoms and the magnitude of basophil activation was observed.
The BAT seems to be an appropriate method to identify patients allergic to bee or wasp venom with a comparable sensitivity to standard diagnostic regimens. The higher specificity of BAT as compared with specific IgE makes this test a useful tool in the diagnosis of Hymenoptera venom allergy.
AuthorsG J Sturm, E Böhm, M Trummer, I Weiglhofer, A Heinemann, W Aberer
JournalAllergy (Allergy) Vol. 59 Issue 10 Pg. 1110-7 (Oct 2004) ISSN: 0105-4538 [Print] Denmark
PMID15355471 (Publication Type: Evaluation Studies, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
Chemical References
  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, CD63
  • Arthropod Venoms
  • CD63 protein, human
  • Platelet Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Serine Endopeptidases
  • Tryptases
  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD (immunology)
  • Antigens, CD63
  • Arthropod Venoms (immunology)
  • Basophils (immunology)
  • Humans
  • Hymenoptera (immunology)
  • Hypersensitivity (immunology)
  • Immunoglobulin E (immunology)
  • Insect Bites and Stings (immunology)
  • Platelet Membrane Glycoproteins (immunology)
  • Prospective Studies
  • Serine Endopeptidases (immunology)
  • Skin Tests
  • Tryptases

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