Allergen components in diagnosing childhood hazelnut allergy: Systematic literature review and meta-analysis

Caroline Nilsson, Malin Berthold, Barbara Mascialino, Michelle Orme, Sigrid Sjölander, Robert Hamilton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Hazelnut-specific IgE antibodies (sIgEs) in serum support the diagnosis of hazelnut allergy, but extract-based tests have low diagnostic specificity, commonly leading to over-diagnosis. Measuring sensitization to individual allergen components may enhance the diagnosis of hazelnut allergy. We systematically examined data on diagnostic accuracy of sIgE to commercially available hazelnut components to compare their individual contributions in diagnosing hazelnut allergy. Methods: Seven databases were searched for diagnostic studies on patients suspected of having hazelnut allergy. Studies employing component-specific IgE testing on patients whose final diagnosis was determined by oral food challenges were included in the meta-analysis. Study quality was assessed as recommended by Cochrane. Results: Seven cross-sectional studies and one case-control study were identified, seven presenting data on children (N = 635), and one on a mixed age population. Overall, the diagnostic accuracies of sIgE to both Cor a 9 and Cor a 14 were significantly higher than for Cor a 1-sIgE (P <.05). In children, the specificity of Cor a 14-sIgE at 0.35 kUA/L cutoff was 81.7% (95% CI 77.1, 85.6), and 67.3% (60.3, 73.6) for Cor a 9-sIgE. The specificities for Cor a 1-sIgE and hazelnut-sIgE were 22.5% (7.4, 51.2) and 10.8% (3.4, 29.8), respectively. The sensitivity of Cor a 1-sIgE (60.2% [46.9, 72.2]) was lower than for hazelnut extract-sIgE (95.7% [88.7, 98.5]), while their specificities did not differ significantly. Conclusion: sIgE to Cor a 14 and Cor a 9 hazelnut storage proteins increases diagnostic specificity in assessing hazelnut allergy in children. The combined use of hazelnut extract and hazelnut storage proteins may improve diagnostic value.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)186-196
Number of pages11
JournalPediatric Allergy and Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Cor a 1
  • Cor a 14
  • Cor a 9
  • allergen
  • children
  • component-resolved diagnostics
  • hazelnut
  • storage protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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