OBJECTIVES: This study aimed at describing the immunochemical properties of the BN allergens. Comparative studies between 3 commercially available sources (according to the country of origin) of BN were also made.
METHODS: Crude extracts of commercially available processed BN from Sarawak (Malaysia), Thailand, and Indonesia and fresh unprocessed BN from the caves of Sarawak were obtained by means of aqueous extraction. Specific IgE toward these sources were determined by using fluorescence allergosorbent tests (FASTs). Cross-reactivity studies between the 3 sources of commercially available processed BN were carried out by means of FAST inhibition. Immunochemical characterization by means of IgE immunoblot, periodate treatment, and heat stability studies were carried out on fresh unprocessed BN from Sarawak.
RESULTS: Serum from allergic patients showed differences in IgE binding to the 3 sources of commercially available BN, with the highest levels of specific IgE recorded with the Sarawak source (P