To determine whether the local administration of IgG antibodies might reduce the symptoms of ragweed hay fever, we tested the effect of this treatment in fourteen patients in a double-blind pilot trial. The patients were randomly divided into two groups, treatment and placebo, and their symptoms and medication usage were determined during the ragweed pollination season. One group used a nasal spray consisting of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) containing human serum albumin, whereas the other used PBS containing purified IgG from a subject with a high titre of IgG antibody to partially purified ragweed antigen E. Treated and control groups used comparable quantities of nasal spray, and neither noted any ill effects. Comparison of individual symptoms of hay fever, medication usage, and total symptom scores showed no significant differences between the groups except a lessening of eye symptoms (P<0.05) in the treated group. The results suggest that nasal administration of IgG antibody up to five times daily does not alter the severity of symptoms in ragweed hay fever. Furthermore, total serum IgE protein and specific IgE levels increased comparably in both groups, suggesting that passive administration of IgG antibody does not suppress the production of IgE antibody during the pollination season.
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