Familial human short-term sensitizing (IgG S-TS) antibody


Dr W. D. Brighton, Head, Laboratory for Allergens, National Institute for Biological Standards and Control, Holly Hill, Hampstead, London NW3 6RB.


Skin tests on a middle-aged English housewife (the initial case) with a history of seasonal grass pollen rhinitis and asthma showed strong immediate and late reactions to grass pollens. Early in the grass pollen season, 1976, RAST showed normal levels of IgE antibodies in the serum. Passive transfer in Rhesus monkey skin was also negative for heat-labile IgE but gave a very vigorous reaction for short-term sensitizing heat-stable IgG antibody (IgG S-TS Ab). Skin tests and studies on sera from other members of the family showed that another five also formed IgG S-TS Ab, and indicated that the ability to form this antibody was familial. One member of the family had only an immediate reaction on skin testing, and much IgE to grass pollen. Towards the end of the grass pollen season the IgE titre in the initial case had been tripled and the IgG S-TS Ab had disappeared. By September the specific IgE titre had risen even further.