What is a Major Allergen?
A major allergen is a substance, most often a protein, which is always present in an allergen source material or extract. A major allergen will induce an IgE response in more than 50% of a sample of patients who are exposed to the allergen source material and who have clinical symptoms on contact with that source material. Major allergens have been identified in more than 100 different natural allergenic substances.Some authorities prefer to define a major allergen as one that induces IgE in 80% of a patient population. The divergence on definitions for major allergen seems to be on the frequency of reactions and how much of an IgE response.