Background: Cockroaches have been demonstrated to be an etiologic factor in allergic diseases. Further, sensitivity to cockroach places patients with asthma at risk for exacerbations that require emergency medical care. Objective: This study compared the differences in allergenic components between German cockroach whole body and German cockroach fecal extracts (GWBE and GFE). Methods: Patients with asthma and/or allergic rhinitis were skin prick tested with German cockroach extract (Bayer Corporation, West Haven, CT). Serum specimens from these patients, 25 with positive skin tests and 8 with negative tests, were used for the ELISA and immunoblot experiments. Results: By ELISA, 72% (18 of 25) and 60% (15 of 25) of positive responders' sera showed IgE antibodies to GWBE and GFE, respectively, and the IgE levels to GWBE were highly correlated with those to GFE (r = .84, P < .01). In inhibition ELISA experiments, extensive cross-reactivity was observed between GWBE and GFE, slight cross-reactivity between GWBE and Dermatophagoides farinae, and no cross-reactivity between GFE and D. farinae. The two-site monoclonal antibody ELISA detected more of the German cockroach major allergens in GFE compared with GWBE; 6.2 times (2420 vs 390 U/mL) for Bla g 1 and 3 times (15.32 vs 5.07 μg/mL) for Bla g 2. In the immunoblot comparison of patients' sera, the IgE antibodies binding to GWBE were apparently different from those binding to GFE in all the positive responders' sera; eg, 50% or more of the 25 positive responders' sera reacted to 43- to 67-kDa proteins in GWBE and to 28- to 30-kDa proteins in GFE, respectively. No IgE antibodies bound to components in GWBE and GFE in the 8 negative responders' sera. Conclusions: There are major differences between the allergenic components of GWBE and GFE. Based on the amounts of major allergens (Bla g 1, Bla g 2), German cockroach feces are a more important source of allergen than the whole body in respiratory allergic diseases.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine