Preparation of high quality allergen extracts is essential for the diagnosis and immunotherapy of allergic disorders. Standardization of allergen extracts concerns determination of the allergen unit, development of reference material and measurement of the overall IgE binding capacity of an allergen extract. Recently, quantification of individual allergens has been the main focus of allergen standardization because the allergenicity of most allergen extracts is known to be mainly dependent on the content of a small number of allergen molecules. Therefore, characterization of major allergens will facilitate the standardization of allergens. In this article, we review the current state of allergen standardization. In addition, we briefly summarize the components of allergen extracts that should be under control for the optimization of allergen standardization, since its adjuvant-like activities could play an important role in allergic reactions even though the molecule itself does not bind to the IgE antibodies from subjects.
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