IgE responses to environmental antigens in atopic children


Dr D. J. Hill, Allergy Unit. Royal Children's Hospital, Flemington Road, Parkville. Victoria, Australia 3052. D. J. Hill is National Health and Medical Research Council (AUST) Applied Health Science Fellow in Allergy


The levels of IgE antibodies to inhaled and dietary antigens and total serum IgG, IgA, IgM and IgE were studied in two highly selected populations of children who had either severe asthma and no history of eczema, or severe asthma and generalized eczema. These populations were age-matched with a healthy control population. The results showed that the eczematous children had significantly higher levels of IgE antibodies to common environmental antigens than the non-eczematous patients with severe asthma. Both patient groups had significantly higher IgE antigen specific antibody levels than the control population to these antigens. Minor differences in total IgG, IgA and IgM levels were noted between the groups. The variations in total IgE levels between the groups showed the same pattern as for specific IgE antibodies.