Vance, G.H.S., Thornton, C.A., Bryant, T.N., Warner, J.A. and Warner, J.O.
Ovalbumin-specific immunoglobulin G and subclass responses through the first 5 years of life in relation to duration of egg sensitization and the development of asthma
Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 34, (10), . (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2222.2004.02058.x).
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Background: Egg sensitization, particularly persistent sensitization, is a risk factor for later asthma. However, little is known about accompanying IgG and subclass responses and how they might relate to asthmatic outcome.
Objective: To characterize hen's egg ovalbumin (OVA) IgG and subclass responses through the first 5 years of life in relation to duration of egg sensitization and later asthma.
Subjects and methods: The subjects (n=46) formed part of a larger cohort, born to atopic parents, who had been evaluated prospectively for the development of asthma. Egg sensitization was classified as transient (positive egg skin prick test at 1 year only) or persistent (positive skin test for at least 2 years). Plasma OVA IgG, IgG1 and IgG4 concentrations at birth (cord), 6 months, 1 and 5 years of age were measured by ELISA.
Results: The kinetics of OVA IgG and IgG1 responses, but not IgG4, differed between egg sensitized and non-egg sensitized (NES) children. Only persistently sensitized children had a rise in OVA IgG1 concentration through the first year of life, and at 1 year of age they had significantly higher OVA IgG and IgG1 than either transiently sensitized or NES children. High OVA IgG1 was associated with later asthma: at 1 year of age, OVA IgG1 greater than 14 500 U predicted asthma with a sensitivity 64% and specificity 74%.
Conclusion: OVA IgG and subclass responses relate to the duration of egg sensitization. Measurement of OVA IgG1 concentration in infancy might offer a useful adjunct to identify those at an increased risk of asthma.
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