Marker allergens in Hymenoptera venom allergy — Characteristics and potential use in precision medicine

Simon Blank*, Maria Beatrice Bilò, Johannes Grosch, Carsten B. Schmidt-Weber, Markus Ollert, Thilo Jakob

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: A comprehensive diagnostic work-up is essential to ensure adequate patient management for the potentially life-threatening condition of Hymenoptera venom allergy (HVA). This includes an unambiguous identification of the allergy-relevant venom as prerequisite for successful venom-specific immunotherapy (VIT). If the clinical history does not allow the identification of the culprit insect, diagnosis is often hampered by positive test results to various venoms. Modern component-resolved diagnostics (CRD) applying marker allergens of Hymenoptera venoms has created new opportunities which facilitate therapeutic decisions and may allow personalized risk stratification for individual patients. Methods: Comprehensive literature search and critical analysis of recently published studies on Hymenoptera venom allergens and CRD. Results and discussion: Changing the research focus from whole venom extracts to individual allergenic molecules led to the development of CRD in HVA. The currently available CRD is a valuable tool to resolve cross-reactivity and primary sensitization, particularly in honeybee and vespid venom allergy. Hence, CRD has simplified therapeutic decisions in case of multiple positive test results, especially in patients who were not able to identify the culprit insect or in cases of discrepancies between clinical history and classical diagnostic results. Moreover, there is first evidence that sensitization to particular allergens might serve as biomarkers to predict risk for severe side-effects during VIT or even for VIT failure. To date, a clear limitation of CRD is the currently available allergen panel which does not allow a definite resolution of allergy to different vespid species such as yellow jackets and European paper wasps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-38
Number of pages13
JournalAllergo Journal International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Component-resolved diagnostics
  • Hymenoptera venom allergy
  • Marker allergen
  • Molecular allergology
  • Precision medicine
  • Venom-specific immunotherapy


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