Clinical & Experimental Allergy

The IgG subclass antibody response to an inhalant antigen (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus) during the first year of life: evidence for early stimulation of the immune system following natural exposure

Authors

  • F. MARIANI,

    1. Cattedra di Allergologia ed Immunologia Clinica, Universitaé degli studi di Bari-Policlinico, Bari, Italy
    Search for more papers by this author
  • J. F. PRICE,

    1. Department of Child Health, King's College Medical School, London, U.K.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • D. M. KEMENY

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Allergy and Allied Respiratory Disorders, Division of Medicine, United Medical and Dental schools of Guys and St Thomas Hospitals, London, U.K.
      Dr D. M. Kemeny, Department of Allergy and Allied Respiratory Disorders, UMDS, Guys Campus. St Thomas Street, London SE1 9RT, U.K.
    Search for more papers by this author

Dr D. M. Kemeny, Department of Allergy and Allied Respiratory Disorders, UMDS, Guys Campus. St Thomas Street, London SE1 9RT, U.K.

Summary

This study investigates the early humoral immune response following natural exposure to an inhalant antigen (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus) in 36 babies, from birth until 1 year of age. The total IgG and subclass 1 and 4 D. pteronyssinus-specific antibody levels were assayed in sera collected at 7 days, 3 and 12 months by ELISA. After an initial fall, due to the progressive loss of maternal antibodies, an IgG specific response to D. pteronyssinus was seen between 3 and 12 months. This was restricted to the IgG1 subclass when the values at 12 months were significantly higher than those detected at the third month (P < 0.001, paired t test). No D. pteronyssinus-specific IgG4 antibody was detected in any subject at any of the time points tested. The present study demonstrates that inhalant as well as food antigens are able to stimulate the immune system during the first year of life and that the antibodies produced are of the IgG1 subclass.

Ancillary