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Allergy to cypress and olive pollen: Clinical phenotypes and allergen recognition

Alonso-Díaz de Durana MD1, Pérez-Fernández E2, Villalba M3*, Martín-Pedraza L3, Fernández-Rivas M4*

1Allergy Unit, Hospital Universitario Fundación Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain
2Research Unit, Hospital Universitario Fundación Alcorcón, Madrid, Spain
3Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain
4Allergy Department, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Universidad Complutense, IdISSC, Madrid, Spain
*Both authors contributed equally to the study

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2024; Vol. 34(5)
doi: 10.18176/jiaci.0917

Background: Cypress and olive pollen are the most prevalent sensitizer trees in the Mediterranean area. Some patients exhibit a dual sensitization which has not been well documented yet.
Objective: To identify the allergens involved in the dual cypress and olive allergy (C+O) and study the relationship between phenotype and allergen sensitization.
Methods: C+O patients were selected. Monosensitized subjects to olive or cypress were used as reference. Specific IgE to whole extracts and purified allergens from olive and cypress were performed. Immunoblotting was done to analyze IgG and IgE-binding using olive polyclonal antibodies and patients’ sera, respectively. Mutual immunoblotting inhibition of olive and cypress extracts, and inhibition of cypress extract immunoblotting with olive allergens were performed. Multiple correspondence analysis and hierarchical cluster classifications were conducted to analyze the relationships between C+O clinical presentation (symptoms, seasonality) and allergen profile.
Results: C+O patients were clustered in 4 phenotypes. The most frequent one (58.4%) was rhinoconjunctivitis in winter (February) and spring (May), with asthma in 38% of subjects. Ole e 1 and Cup s 1 were the major allergens. Homologous proteins to Ole e 1, Ole e 9 and Ole e 11 in cypress pollen were identified and these olive allergens inhibit IgE-binding to cypress extract.
Conclusions: The exclusive C+O allergy results from co-sensitization to Cup s 1 and Ole e 1, and to cross-reactivity due to Ole e 1-like, Ole e 9-like and Ole e 11-like allergens not described previously, and translates into 4 clinical phenotypes of winter and/or spring or perennial rhinoconjunctivitis with and without asthma. 

Key words: Allergen, Cypress pollen, Cluster analysis, Cross-reactivity, Multiple correspondence analysis, Olive pollen