Cockroach, tick, storage mite and other arthropod allergies: Where do we stand with molecular allergy diagnostics?
Key wordsAllergy diagnostics cockroach tick storage mite arthropod
Arthropods form a broad phylum within the animal kingdom, comprising widely varying members such as insects, arachnids, crabs and centipedes. In addition to common allergies to house dust mites or hymenoptera venom, there are also rarer allergies that can be attributed to three major sources of allergens: cockroaches, ticks and storage mites. Other less known allergen sources include spiders, mosquitos, horseflies, red chironomid larvae, silverfish and ladybugs, as well as a variety of storage pests. At present, only extract-based test systems are available for the majority of allergens in IgE-based diagnostics. Molecular characterisation of numerous individual allergens has already been carried out. However, these individual allergens are only available for a small number of allergen sources (e. g. cockroaches and storage mites) in routine diagnostics. Particularly in the case of allergen sources with known high cross-reactivity, the use of marker allergens is believed to improve diagnostics. The currently known individual allergens of the above-mentioned allergy triggers from the arthropod realm are summarized and their potential use in allergy diagnostics discussed.