Combinatorial advantage of Ses i 1-specific IgE and basophil activation for diagnosis of sesame food allergy

Michael R. Goldberg*, Michael Y. Appel, Liat Nachshon, Marie Holmqvist, Naama Epstein-Rigbi, Michael B. Levy, Jonas Lidholm, Arnon Elizur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The prevalence of sesame food allergy (SFA) is increasing worldwide with the potential of anaphylactic reactions upon exposure. Utility of specific component IgE testing as an alternative to the oral food challenge (OFC), the diagnostic standard, is being investigated. Methods: Patients (n = 42) with suspected SFA completed an open OFC to sesame. Diagnostic testing included serum levels of Ses i 1-specific IgE, skin prick test with high-protein extract, and basophil reactivity (% induced CD63 expression) for each patient. The diagnostic utility of these tests was evaluated at a 95% sensitivity, with the outcome measure being the number of OFCs required. Results: Twenty-seven patients (64%) were diagnosed with SFA. Ses i 1 IgE differed significantly between allergic and tolerant patients (p =.0001). ROC curve analysis for Ses i 1 IgE yielded an AUC of 0.88 ± 0.05. Levels of Ses i 1 IgE correlated to induced CD63+ expression on basophils (p =.0001). Ses i 1 IgE was not sufficiently robust as a single step for diagnosis. Used concurrently, BAT and Ses i 1 IgE yielded correct positive classifications for 25 of 27 sesame-allergic patients with two false positives (93% PPV). Both tests were negative in 5 non-allergic patients. Patients with divergent Ses i 1 IgE and BAT results required OFC (n = 10, 24% of patients). Alternatively, sequential use of BAT, ruling in SFA followed by Ses i 1 IgE diagnosing non-allergic patients, yielded a 89% PPV, with 19% requiring OFC. Conclusion: Ses i 1 IgE and BAT used together can decrease the need for OFC in most SFA patients. A prospective cohort trial is necessary to validate these results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1482-1489
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Allergy and Immunology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Ses i 1 component IgE
  • basophil activation test
  • sesame allergy


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