Clinical correlations between long-term (IgE) and short-term (IgG S-TS) anaphylactic antibodies in atopic and ‘non-atopic’ subjects with respiratory allergic disease


Professor J. Pepys, 36, Ferncroft Avenue, Hampstead, London NW3 7PE.


The sera of atopic and non-atopic persons with allergic pulmonary disorders were examined for long-term sensitizing, IgE and short-term sensitizing heat-stable (S-TS) antibodies which were present separately or together in the sera of some patients sensitive to antigens such as budgerigar serum proteins and Aspergillus fumigatus.

In fourteen atopic patients with extrinsic asthma, six had both types of antibody to common allergens, and of nine non-atopic patients with cryptogenic (intrinsic) asthma, four had only heat-stable short-term sensitizing antibodies. The sera of atopic subjects with type I prick test reactions and positive RAST's, showed specific IgE antibody by baboon PCA tests to budgerigar serum proteins, A. fumigatus, Timothy grass pollen extract and hen egg extract, and not to Dermatophagoides farinae, possibly because of naturally occurring mite antibodies in the baboon.

The sera of non-atopic asthmatics, who had given negative prick test but positive immediate, dual or late intracutaneous tests, and only late asthmatic reactions, contained precipitins in most cases and gave little or no RAST reaction. On baboon PCA these sera contained either, S-TS antibody alone, or S-TS plus long-term sensitizing antibody, or long-term sensitizing antibody alone. Some of the sera with long-term sensitizing antibody contained blocking antibody which could diffuse away in the 24 hr delay for the baboon PCA test and could also be responsible for the negative RAST.

Tests with insoluble anti-IgE immuno-adsorbents on two sera from persons sensitive to aspergillus confirmed that the S-TS activity was not due to IgE, and on two sera with negative RAST and negative prick tests to budgerigar serum antigens confirmed that the 24 hr monkey PCA responses were due to IgE.