IgE-reactivity to antigens from gram-positive and negative bacteria is common in patients suffering from respiratory and skin manifestations of allergy, but the routes and mechanisms of sensitisation are not fully understood. The analysis of the genome, transcriptome and microbiome of house dust mites (HDM) has shown that S. aureus and E. coli species are abundant bacteria within the HDM microbiome. Therefore, our aim was to investigate if HDM are carriers of bacterial antigens leading to IgE sensitisation in patients suffering from atopic dermatitis.
Plasma samples from AD patients (n=179) were analysed for IgE-reactivity to a comprehensive panel of micro-arrayed HDM allergen molecules and to S. aureus and E. coli by IgE immunoblotting. Antibodies specific for S. aureus and E. coli antigens were tested for reactivity to nitrocellulose-blotted extract from purified HDM bodies and the IgE-reactive antigens were detected by IgE-immunoblot inhibition experiments. IgE antibodies directed to bacterial antigens in HDM were quantified by IgE ImmunoCAP™ inhibition experiments.
IgE-reactivity to bacterial antigens was significantly more frequent in AD patients sensitised to HDM than in AD patients without HDM sensitisation. S. aureus and E. coli antigens were detected in immune-blotted HDM extract and the presence of IgE-reactive antigens in HDM was demonstrated by qualitative and quantitative IgE inhibition experiments.
HDM may serve as carriers of bacteria responsible for the induction of IgE sensitisation to microbial antigens.
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