Background: Skin prick tests (SPTs) are a frequently used method for evaluation of atopy. A variety of standard allergen preparations are available, together with a number of different methods of application. Objective: The objective of this study was to compare SPT reactivity 1) using Soluprick SQ allergens (ALK Allergologisk Laboratorium A/S, Hørsholm, Denmark) and Bayer allergens [Bayer Corporation, West Haven, CT], and 2) using two common methods of application, a standard prick lancet and a Quintest, both produced by Bayer. Methods: SPTs were undertaken on 22 adult volunteers (mean age 40 years, 17 female, 5 male). Wheal size was recorded as mean diameters (mm) and area (mm2). Results: Bayer allergens produced larger mean diameters and areas to dust mites than ALK allergens, with the differences significant when allergens were applied with the lancet. There was a tendency for the ALK cat allergen to produce larger reactions than the Bayer product. The method of application also influenced the wheal size, with the lancet producing significantly larger mean diameters than the Quintest for the histamine and allergens from both manufacturers, except the ALK cat allergen. There were similar differences between methods of application for reactions measured as an area. Conclusions: SPTs that use different allergens or different methods of application will not provide comparable assessments of atopy.
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