IgE-mediated anaphylaxis caused by bites of the pigeon tick Argas reflexus: Cloning and expression of the major allergen Arg r 1

Christiane Hilger*, Jean Claude Bessot, Nicolas Hutt, Fabienne Grigioni, Frédéric De Blay, Gabrielle Pauli, François Hentges

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    83 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background: Anaphylactic reactions caused by bites of the European pigeon tick Argas reflexus are repeatedly reported. This soft-backed tick is a parasite of wild pigeons colonizing urban buildings and houses. Occasionally the ticks can bite human beings, inducing anaphylactic reactions in sensitized patients. Objective: Our aim was to characterize the major allergen implicated in a series of anaphylactic reactions caused by Argas bites and to produce the allergen as recombinant protein for diagnostic purposes. Methods: Protein extracts were prepared from whole A reflexus bodies, and IgE immunoblots were performed with sera from 13 patients who had an anaphylactic reaction with pigeon tick bites. A cDNA expression library was constructed from whole ticks and screened with a polyclonal rabbit antiserum raised against the major allergen. Results: The cDNA coding for the dominant allergen Arg r 1 could be isolated. It encodes a protein belonging to the lipocalin family. Allergenicity of the recombinant Arg r 1 was confirmed by immunoblot, ELISA, and intradermal skin tests. Conclusion: The dominant allergen of A reflexus has been isolated and the corresponding cDNA cloned. The recombinant protein, a lipocalin, was expressed in Escherichia coli and was shown to be immunoreactive in vitro and in vivo. Recombinant Arg r 1 was used as a diagnostic tool in a series of anaphylactic reactions caused by pigeon tick bites.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)617-622
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
    Volume115
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005

    Keywords

    • Anaphylaxis
    • Arg r 1
    • Argas reflexus
    • Lipocalin
    • Major allergen
    • Pigeon tick
    • cDNA cloning

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