Comparison of the allergenic properties of bee venom and whole bee body extract

Authors

  • WILMA C. LIGHT,

    1. Allergy Research Laboratory of the Buffalo General Hospital and the Departments of Medicine and Microbiology of the State University of New York at Buffalo
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  • ROBERT E. REISMAN,

    1. Allergy Research Laboratory of the Buffalo General Hospital and the Departments of Medicine and Microbiology of the State University of New York at Buffalo
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  • NELSON A. ROSARIO,

    1. Allergy Research Laboratory of the Buffalo General Hospital and the Departments of Medicine and Microbiology of the State University of New York at Buffalo
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  • CARL E. ARBESMAN

    Corresponding author
    1. Allergy Research Laboratory of the Buffalo General Hospital and the Departments of Medicine and Microbiology of the State University of New York at Buffalo
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Professor C. E. Arbesman, Allergy Research Laboratory, Buffalo General Hospital, Buffalo, New York.

Summary

The allergenic properties of bee venom and whole bee body extract were compared by in vivo and in vitro tests. The majority of patients with known bee sting sensitivity had positive intracutaneous skin test reactions with bee venom and had bee venom specific IgE in their sera. Of seventeen patients with positive bee venom skin tests, nine had positive tests with whole bee body extract. Of thirty sera containing elevated levels of bee venom specific IgE obtained from untreated patients, fourteen sera contained whole body specific IgE but in much lower titres.

In RAST inhibition experiments using both bee venom and whole bee body extract as coupling antigens, bee venom was a more potent inhibiting antigen than whole body extract.

From these experiments we conclude that bee venom is a more potent allergen than whole bee body extract.

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