Specific serum IgE antibodies to bacterial antigens in allergic lung disease*


  • *

    This work constitutes part of a PhD thesis which has been approved by the University of London for the award of the degree.

Dr R. D. Tee, Department of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Cardiothoracic Institute. Brompton Hospital. London, SW3 6HP.


A radio-allergosorbent test (RAST) to measure specific IgE antibodies in man to whole bacterial cells of Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcasaureus and Haemophilus influenzae was developed to investigate different well-defined lung diseases (chronic bronchitis, allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis, cystic fibrosis) and also in urticaria as compared with non-atopic blood donors, in addition, total IgE values and skin prick tests were assessed in these patients.

The ABPA group gave the highest specific IgE RAST scores to all three bacteria. whilst the chronic bronchitis and cystic fibrosis groups also gave raised RAST scores withH. influenzae.

There was a positive correlation between the patients' Sta. aureus and Str. pneumoniae immediate-type skin reactions and their RAST scores and total serum IgE concentrations, but there was only a low incidence of immediate-type skin test positivity to H. influenzae.