IgE responses in human filariasis. I. Quantitation of filaria-specific IgE

R. Hussain, R. G. Hamilton, V. Kumaraswami, N. F. Adkinson, E. A. Ottesen

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98 Scopus citations


We have developed a noncompetitive solid phase radioimmunoassay to quantitate human IgE antibodies against soluble adult antigens of Brugia malayi (B.m.), a filarial parasite, in sera of patients with various forms of clinical filariasis in Madras, India. A single reference serum was shown to contain 23 μg/ml of B.m.-specific IgE by depletion analysis and was used as a standard serum throughout the study. The levels of specific IgE ranged in the patients sera from 2 to 23,000 ng/ml. When these individuals were divided into clinical groups, the individuals with tropical pulmonary eosinophilia had the highest levels (mean = 8630 ng/ml) and were significantly higher than all the other groups (p<0.001). The lowest levels were seen in patients with circulating microfilariae (mean = 30.5 ng/ml). Patients exhibiting lymphatic obstruction (i.e., chronic pathology group) had levels slightly higher than microfilaremics (mean = 68 mg/ml) but were not significantly different (p < 0.1). Surprisingly, individuals living in endemic areas but who had no clinical signs of filariasis also showed apprecialbe levels of B.m.-specific IgE (mean = 55 ng/ml). The B.m.-specific IgE represented 0.1 to 48% of the total IgE. High percentages of specific IgE may be responsible for evoking allergic symptomatology in patients with tropical pulmonary eosinophilia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1623-1629
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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