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Circulating cat allergen and immune complexes in cat- allergic children


Casas Department of Health and Environment, Division of Paediatrics, Linköping University Hospital, S-581 85 Linköping, Sweden.



The first encounters with allergens seem to influence the development of allergy. Food antigens have been detected in sera as free antigens and in complexes with IgG but less is known about the presence of inhalant allergens.


To investigate the presence of the major cat allergen Fel d 1, either as free allergen and/or in complexes with IgG and IgE antibodies in sera from atopic children.


Serum samples from 33 cat allergic asthmatic children, 7–17 years old, and 15 non-allergic controls were investigated for the presence of Fel d 1 by ELISA (detection limit 0.13 μg/L). To detect immune complexes (IC), the IgG fraction from Fel d 1 positive sera was purified by affinity chromatography. Purified and non-absorbed material was then analysed for allergen content and specific IgG antibody levels. Immune complexes with Fel d 1 IgE were detected by coupling anti-Fel d 1 MoAb to paramagnetic particles.


Fel d 1 was detected (0.15–1.8 μg/L) in 23 of the 33 patients (70%) but not from any of the controls. Eighteen samples contained IgE-Fel d 1 IC and two of four tested samples contained Fel d 1 in the IgG fraction. Electrophoresis and Western blotting of IgG purified material using anti-Fel d 1 MoAb corroborated the presence of IgG-Fel d 1 IC.


Free-circulating inhalant allergen and IC with allergens may contribute to maintaining immune responsiveness and sensitivity.