Cow's milk allergy and eczema: patterns of the antibody response to cow's milk in allergic skin disease


Dr D. J. Hill, Consultant Allergist, Royal Children's Hospital, Flemington Road, Parkville, Victoria, Australia 3052.


The pattern of the humoral-immune response to cow's milk was examined in children with eczema and in children who had acute urticarial and/or angioedematous reactions to cow's milk. Each patient group was compared to a group of age-matched controls.

Whereas the eczematous patients had significantly elevated IgG, IgA and IgE milk-antibodies, patients, allergic to cow's milk, had elevated IgE milk-antibodies. These differences in the pattern of antibody response to cow's milk suggests that these two patient groups constitute separate allergic populations, and that different pathogenic mechanisms may be operative in these two skin diseases associated with elevated levels of IgE antibodies to cow's milk.