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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 1995 Sep;108(1):74-81.

Studies of the specificities of IgE antibodies found in sera from subjects with allergic reactions to penicillins.

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Allergy Laboratory, Carlos Haya Hospital, Málaga, Spain.


Penicillins are immunogenic when administered to humans and in some instances they can also be allergenic, inducing specific IgE antibodies. Whilst the major haptenic group, the penicilloyl, is well characterised, less is known about the relative importance of the different parts of the structure for antibody binding and how this can influence the specificity of patients response. In order to investigate this further, sera from subjects who had suffered an IgE-mediated reaction to penicillins were studied using the radioallergosorbent test (RAST) and RAST inhibition. The assays employed reagents related to the penicillins causing the reaction. Using 173 sera, positive RAST results were only found with reagents based on benzyl penicillin (BP) and amoxicillin (AX). Fifty-three positive sera were selected for further studies and categorized into three groups: (A) sera only RAST positive to AX, (B) sera only positive to BP and (C) sera positive to both penicillins. RAST inhibition studies were then carried out using monomeric penicilloyl conjugates and compounds representing parts of the penicilloyl structures of BP and AX. For all three groups, monomeric penicilloyl conjugates were the most efficient inhibitors but there were differences for the other compounds. Group A sera were also inhibited by the side chain amoxicillin, whereas group B sera were poorly inhibited by all other inhibitors. Group C sera showed two patterns of inhibition, both consistent with their more cross-reactive profile.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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