The ability to display IgE antibody fragments, allergens and peptides upon filamentous phage has increasingly been used in allergy research. This technique offers the opportunity to isolate and produce IgE antibody fragments specific for allergens. These antibody fragments can then be used to address fundamental issues regarding the development of IgE antibodies in allergic patients, at both the molecular and structural level. Random peptide display has greatly facilitated the discovery of epitopes recognized by serum IgE antibodies from allergic patients, and it is a definitive tool for investigating the IgE-epitope interaction. Whole allergens can also be displayed on phage. Selecting IgE binding phage from diverse cDNA libraries of allergens has assisted in the identification of new allergens and provided a source of purified allergens for the diagnosis of allergic diseases. Finally, phage display of antibody fragments and random peptides is currently providing a means by which the IgE antibody ca n be targeted as a potential treatment for allergy. This review highlights several studies which have utilized phage display methodology in the area of allergy research, and it discusses how the therapeutic potential of this approach may be exploited.
Keywords: lge, allergens, phage display technology, anti-allergen fabs, lge-epitope, anti-lge antibodies, polymerase chain reaction, glycoprotein, enzyme linked immunosorbent assay, radioalergosorbent assay