Background Defeetive antibody response againsl bacterial polysaccharide antigens is known to be associated with recurrent pyogenic infectiotis. The role of childhood allergy as a risk factor for repeated infections with capsulated micro-organisms has been controversial.
Objective To compare the devetopment of polysaccharide specific antibody responses in atopic and healthy infants and children.
Methods The antibody responses against a common polysaccharide antigen, Candida albicans mannan, were studied longitudinally in 18 atopic and 19 non-atopic children over the first 5 years of life. Determinations of IgA, IgG and IgM antibodies were carried out by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and IgE antibodies by nitrocellulose-based radioallergosorbent test.
Results The polysaccharide specific antibody responses were similar in both groups, except that anti-mannan IgM levels were higher at 5 years in the atopic children (P<0.05. student's t-test).
Conclusion Atopic children are not more susceptible to bacterial infections on the basis of poorer ability to produce antibodies against polysaccharide antigens.