Diagnostic characterization of respiratory allergies by means of a multiplex immunoassay

J.L.M. Millen, I. Willems, G. Slingers, M. Raes, G. Koppen, S.A.S. Langie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Allergic sensitization is commonly assessed in patients by performing the skin prick test (SPT) or determining specific immunoglobulin (IgE) levels in blood samples with the ImmunoCAP (TM) assay, which measures each allergen and sample separately. This paper explores the possibility to investigate respiratory allergies with a high throughput method, the Meso Scale Discovery (MSD) multiplex immunoassay, measuring IgE levels in low volumes of blood. The MSD multiplex immunoassay, developed and optimized with standards and allergens from Radim Diagnostics, was validated against the SPT and the ImmunoCAP assay. For 18 adults (15 respiratory allergy patients and three controls), blood collection and the SPT were performed within the same hour. Pearson correlations and Bland-Altman analysis showed high comparability of the MSD multiplex immunoassay with the SPT and the ImmunoCAP assay, except for house dust mite. The sensitivity of the MSD multiplexed assay was >= 78% for most allergens compared to the SPT and ImmunoCAP assay. Additionally, the specificity of the MSD multiplex immunoassay was >= 87% - the majority showing 100% specificity. Only the rye allergen had a low specificity when compared to the SPT, probably due to cross-reactivity. The reproducibility of the MSD multiplex immunoassay, assessed as intra- and interassay reproducibility and biological variability between different sampling moments, showed significantly high correlations (r = 0 center dot 943-1) for all tested subjects (apart from subject 13; r = 0 center dot 65-0 center dot 99). The MSD multiplex immunoassay is a reliable method to detect specific IgE levels against respiratory allergens in a multiplexed and high-throughput manner, using blood samples as small as from a finger prick.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-193
Number of pages11
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


  • allergens
  • asthma
  • high throughput
  • immunocap
  • immunoglobulin e
  • multiplex immunoassay
  • respiratory allergies
  • rhinitis
  • skin-prick
  • immunoglobulin E

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