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Keywords:

  • gelatin hypersensitivity;
  • allergy;
  • vaccine;
  • cellular immunology;
  • lymphocyte transformation;
  • gelatin IgG;
  • gelatin IgE

Summary

Background Gelatin-specific cell-mediated immunity develops in subjects inoculated with gelatin containing DTaP vaccine. However, it is not yet known whether such established sensitization to gelatin disappears or persists with time.

Objective The aim of this study was to follow the patients with gelatin sensitization elicited by DTaP vaccination for their lymphocyte responsiveness and IgE, IgG antibody specific to gelatin over several years and to compare the activities with those at the time of enrolment into the study.

Methods We studied 28 subjects who developed positive lymphocyte proliferation test (LPT) after receiving gelatin containing DTaP vaccine and eight subjects who had a negative LPT after inoculation of non-gelatin DTaP. Determination of IgE, IgG antibodies and specific lymphoproliferative response directed against gelatin were performed at enrolment and on follow up.

Results None of the subjects had antibody to gelatin at enrolment and none developed gelatin IgE or IgG during follow-up. There was no significant difference in the SIs of the subjects receiving gelatin DTaP (P = 0.150, 95% CI, −0.198–0.032), whereas lymphocyte activity to gelatin increased between enrolment and follow-up in the subjects with non-gelatin DTaP (P = 0.011, 95% CI, 0.063–0.338).

Conclusion Gelatin-specific lymphocyte activity persists at comparable levels for more than 3 years in subjects who acquire a positive LPT response to gelatin after receiving primary DTaP vaccine containing gelatin. Furthermore, five out of eight subjects initially with negative LPT to gelatin have been shown to acquire specific LPT with time.