Allergenic extracts are biological products used to diagnose and treat allergic patients. Knowledge about how allergenic extracts are manufactured is critical for the clinician to select appropriate extracts for the intended purpose.
Various steps are involved in the production of allergenic extracts. These steps include the proper selection and procurement of allergenic raw materials, the manufacturing processes utilized, the quality procedures in place to assure that the extracts have a consistent composition and potency, and the measures used to support particular expiration dates.
The allergens utilized to produce extracts can be classified as natural or recombinant. Natural allergens have been used for many years and will continue to be used for the time to come because of the varying limitations regarding the production and use of recombinant allergens.
Most catalogs of allergen extracts list pollen, mites, fungi (“molds”), insects, epithelia (mammalian allergens), hymenoptera venoms, foods, and “others”. Therefore, the procurement of the raw materials to produce those allergenic extracts varies, depending on the product. Natural allergenic raw materials are obtained from the outdoor environment (i.e. pollen), from laboratory cultures (i.e mites and fungi), animal groomers (i.e. epithelia), and supermarkets (foods).
A series of articles, entitled “How Allergen Extracts Are Made – From Raw Materials to Final Extracts”, which address each type of product individually, was prepared to inform the clinician and other interested professionals about the topic.
Contact us to obtain copies of these articles.