Prague Med. Rep. 2018, 119, 30-42

Evaluation of IFN-γ Enzyme-linked Immunospot Assay (ELISPOT) as a First-line Test in the Diagnosis of Non-Immediate Hypersensitivity to Amoxicillin and Penicillin

Lenka Sedláčková1, Miroslav Průcha1, Ingrid Poláková2, Blanka Míková1

1Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Haematology and Immunology, Na Homolce Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic
2Department of Immunology, Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Prague, Czech Republic

Received December 29, 2017
Accepted March 19, 2018

The current diagnostic algorithm for beta-lactam allergy is based on skin and provocation tests, both of which carry a certain risk of inducing hypersensitivity reactions. Thus, non-invasive in vitro tests reliable enough to replace skin and provocation tests at least in a portion of patients are desirable. We aimed to verify the utility of IFN-γ ELISPOT as a first-line test in patients with suspected non-immediate hypersensitivity reaction to amoxicillin (AMX) and penicillin (PNC). The prospective observational study included 24 patients with recent, suspected non-immediate hypersensitivity reaction to AMX or PNC and 6 recently-exposed healthy subjects. In vitro tests were performed in all patients and healthy subjects: a) IFN-γ ELISPOT with PNC, AMX and amoxicillin plus clavulanic acid (AMX-CL); b) penicillin specific IgE; c) basophil activation test (BAT). Skin and provocation tests followed only in certain patients. IFN-γ ELISPOT results with PNC and AMX stimulation did not differ from the unstimulated condition. The highest IFN-γ responses to AMX-CL were close to previously published criteria in three patients; one of which had true hypersensitivity according to drug provocation tests. Five patients with confirmed hypersensitivity by skin tests showed no response to the culprit antibiotic on IFN-γ ELISPOT assay. Our results did not support the utility of IFN-γ ELISPOT in the diagnosis of mild, non-immediate hypersensitivity to amoxicillin and penicillin.


This study was supported by the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic – conceptual development of the research organisation (Nemocnice Na Homolce – NNH, Prague, Czech Republic, 00023884), IG144102.


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