Methods: Thirty-one children diagnosed with wheat allergy by either a positive oral wheat challenge or a convincing recent history, and 72 grass-pollen allergic children currently eating wheat (controls) were recruited for the study. Sera were analyzed for IgE-ab to wheat, recombinant ω5-gliadin, two recombinant γ-gliadins and a native gliadin preparation containing α-, β-, γ-, and ω-gliadins using a cut-off of 0.35 kUA/l.
Results: The wheat test had a sensitivity of 100% but a lower specificity of 40%. Native gliadin had a similar sensitivity (94%) but better specificity (96%). Sensitivities were 81% for the two tests measuring IgE-ab to γ-gliadin and 68% for the ω5-gliadin test. Specificities for these tests ranged from 94 to 97%.
Conclusions: Measurements of IgE-ab to gliadins are useful tools to support the identification of wheat food allergic children. All four gliadin tests evaluated had specificities of more than 94%. The test with native gliadins had the best sensitivity followed by the two γ-gliadin tests and the ω5-gliadin test.