Validation of a commercial allergen microarray platform for specific immunoglobulin E detection of respiratory and plant food allergens
Background: As the use of multiplex-specific immunoglobulin E (sIgE) detection methods becomes increasingly widespread, proper comparative validation assessments of emerging new platforms are vital.
Objective: To evaluate the clinical and technical performance of a newly introduced microarray platform, Allergy Explorer (ALEX) (MacroArray Diagnostics), in the diagnosis of pollen (cypress, grass, olive), dust mite (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus), mold (Alternaria alternata), fruit (apple, peach), and nut (walnut, hazelnut and peanut) allergies and to compare it with those of the ImmunoCAP Immuno Solid-phase Allergen Chip (ISAC) 112 microarray and the ImmunoCAP singleplex method (ThermoFisher Scientific).
Methods: We enrolled 153 patients with allergy and 16 controls without atopy. The sIgE assays were conducted using ISAC112, ALEX version 2 (ALEX2), and ImmunoCAP for whole extracts and major components. Technical validation of ALEX2 was performed by measuring repeatability and interassay, interbatch, and interlaboratory reproducibility.
Results: When measured globally (detection by 1 or more allergen components), ALEX2 had adequate sensitivity and specificity for most of the allergens studied, comparable in general with that of ISAC112 (except for olive pollen and walnut) and similar to that of ImmunoCAP whole extract measurements. Component-by-component analysis revealed comparable results for all techniques, except for Ole e 1 and Jug r 3, in both ISAC112 and ImmunoCAP comparisons, and Alt a 1, when compared with ISAC112. Continuous sIgE levels correlate with sIgE by ImmunoCAP. Good reproducibility and repeatability were observed for ALEX2.
Conclusion: ALEX2 has sound technical performance and adequate diagnostic capacity, comparable in general with that of ISAC112 and ImmunoCAP.