Determination of IgE antibodies to Polistes dominulus, Vespula germanica and Vespa crabro in sera of patients allergic to vespids


Miguel Blanca, M.D., Research Unit for Allergic Diseases, Carlos Haya Hospital, Malaga, Spain


The study was undertaken to investigate the presence of igE antibodies to Polistes dominulus (PD). Vespula germanica (VG) and Vespa crabro (VC) in a large group of sera belonging to patients sensitized to Vespids in Spain. RAST values showed that although the majority of patients had IgE antibodies to PD. VG and VC, there was a marked predominance of PD. These results were related to the distribution of the insect in the areas where the sera were obtained. Due to geographical and insect distribution differences, the whole area was divided into three zones: Central, East and South. Comparison of the positive RAST values obtained indicated that, although the positivity to PD predominated over VG and this over VC, there were significant differences in percentage positivities to each vespid in the different regions studied. The results of the RAST absorption studies indicated that in most instances patients were originally sensitized to one vesped and were RAST positive to the other venoms due to cross-reactivity. Only in a minority of cases were coexisting antibodies to two insects present. These results show that PD and VG are the important vespids followed to a lesser extent by VC. This study provides relevant information concerning insect distribution sensitivity in a European country.