Detection of penicillin allergy of the immediate type by radioimmunoassay of reagins (IgE) to penicilloyl conjugates


Dr Leif Wide, Department of Clinical Chemistry, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.


Reaginic antibodies (IgE) to penicilloyl were detected by an in vitro method, a radioimmunological technique (RAST), in the sera of nine patients out of eleven with a recent history of penicillin hypersensitivity of the immediate type. Provocation tests in two patients with negative RAST were negative as well as in twelve patients having had a possible penicillin hypersensitivity reaction 7 months to 14 years ago. Results from skin tests and RAST agreed. Skin tests and RAST reactions were negative for thirty-two patients with a history of penicillin reactions of the delayed type. The results of this study indicate that the RAST is a valuable alternative to the more dangerous intracutaneous test with penicilloyl-polylysine for-detection of penicillin hypersensitivity of the immediate type.