Expo Hub
35 min

Cross-reactive carbohydrates in allergy

About this session

Dr. Friedrich Altmann discusses the importance of cross-reactive carbohydrate determinants (CCD) for in vitro allergy diagnostics. 

CCDs are carbohydrate molecules present on proteins derived from plants and insects. It is widely accepted that sensitization to CCDs is of no clinical relevance. 

However, IgE antibodies directed against CCDs bind to a ubiquitous epitope and are thus cross-reactive. As a result, individuals with allergies may show false-positive results in allergy tests due to the presence of CCDs in the testing materials. This can lead to misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment. 

CCDs have been found to be particularly relevant in the diagnosis of pollen, food, and insect venom allergies. Understanding the role of CCDs in allergy diagnostics can help healthcare professionals make more-informed decisions about testing and treatment options for their patients. 

Prof. Dr. Friedrich Altmann, Vienna, Austria
Prof. Dr. Friedrich Altmann, Professor, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria

Prof. Friedrich Altmann pioneers advanced analytical methods to uncover the intricacies of protein glycosylation. His work combines cutting-edge mass spectrometry with biosynthesis of reference compounds to elucidate glycoprotein structures. Furthermore, he explores non-mammalian protein glycosylation, focusing on biosynthesis, analysis, and immunogenicity, notably developing a remedy to mitigate false-positive allergy tests. His contributions include deciphering allergenic insect and weed glycoproteins, identifying genes influencing plant glycoprotein immunogenicity, and characterizing immune-modulatory polysaccharides.  

Prof. Altmann's research not only enhances our understanding of glycosylation but also yields practical applications, evident in his founding of the university spin-off company Proglycan in 2021. His work has profound implications for biotechnology and allergy diagnosis. 

He currently holds a full professorship at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, where he continues to drive groundbreaking research in the interface of glycobiology and immunology, shaping the landscape of biomedical science.