In the present investigation we have tested the hypothesis that children with a high IgG antibody response to foods have an increased risk of developing IgE antibodies to inhalant allergens. Sera from 106 children with an increased risk of developing IgE-mediated allergy were analysed. During the follow-up, in 54 of these children IgE antibodies to inhalant allergens appeared. A positive/negative IgG1 and IgG4 anti-food score was determined as described previously: sera from age-clustered unselected children were tested for the levels of IgG1 and IgG4 antibodies to common foods. For each IgG RAST and each age group, the 75-percentile was chosen as cut-off value. Each antibody level was thus converted into a positive (higher than the 75-percentile of the age group) or negative value. The number of positive tests was used as the score. High-risk children with a high IgG1 anti-food score more often developed inhalant-specific IgE antibodies than high-risk children with low IgG1 titres: 50% of the children with a high IgG1 anti-food score developed IgE antibodies to grass pollen, whereas only 16% of the children with a low IgG1 anti-food score acquired IgE anti-grass pollen. Fifty percent of the children with a high and 14% of the children with a low IgG1 anti-food score developed IgE antibodies to cat dander. For the prediction of the development of IgE anti-mite (house dust mite), the IgG4 anti-food scores appeared less useful than the IgG1 anti-food scores; 46% of the IgG4 high responders versus 22% of the IgG4 low responders acquired IgE anti-mite, whereas for IgG1 these precentages were 73 and 19, respectively.
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