Serum total and allergen-specific IgE and IgG4 antibodies, were measured in eighty-seven atopic and nineteen non-atopic asthmatics. The allergens studied were: Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, grass pollens, cat dander, dog dander, milk and egg. Sixty-eight atopic asthmatics and fourteen non-atopic asthmatics were found to have allergen-specific IgG4 antibodies, to at least one of the allergens tested. IgG4 antibodies to milk and egg were common in both groups of asthmatics, and to animal danders in the non-atopic asthmatics.
Skin prick tests were always negative when allergen-specific IgG4 antibodies occurred alone, but in such cases, intradermal skin tests were positive.
Seventy-five per cent ofa group of patients with normal levels of serum total IgG4, were found to have at least one positive IgG4 RAST.