Clinical & Experimental Allergy

Relation between IgG antibodies to foods and IgE antibodies to milk, egg, cat, dog and/or mite in a cross-sectional study


Eysink Department of General Practice, room J367, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 15, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



Because IgG antibodies to foods can be detected before IgE antibodies to inhalants, increased levels of IgG antibodies to foods might be used as a predictor of IgE-mediated allergy in initially nonatopic children.


To examine the cross-sectional relation between IgG to foods (i.e. mixture of wheat and rice, mixture of soybean and peanut, egg white, cow’s milk, meat, orange and potato) and specific IgE to cat, dog, mite, milk and egg white in 1-year-old children.


All atopic children (n = 120; 58 with and 62 without eczema) and a random sample of the nonatopic children (n = 144) of the Bokaal study were tested on their IgG response to foods. The IgG results of the food assays were dichotomized high or low using the 66th centile as a cut-off value.


Atopic children more often had high IgG levels to foods than nonatopic children. IgG to egg white (OR = 7.50) and mixture of wheat and rice (OR = 4.79) were most strongly associated with positive specific IgE. In a stepwise logistic regression analysis egg white, mixture of wheat and rice, and orange were selected (OR = 3.76, OR = 2.43, and OR = 2.11, respectively). In children without eczema higher levels of IgG to foods were still significantly associated with atopy, which was most prominent for egg white, orange and cow’s milk.


An increased IgG antibody level to foods, especially to egg white, orange, and mixture of wheat and rice, indicates an increased risk of having IgE to cat, dog, mite, egg and/or milk allergens, even in the noneczematous group. Therefore, in another prospective study we are currently investigating the usefulness of IgG in early identification, i.e. before IgE antibodies can be detected, of children with an increased risk of developing allergic diseases in the future.