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Allergy. 1993 Aug;48(6):394-400.

Allergens of Pityrosporum ovale and Candida albicans. I. Cross-reactivity of IgE-binding components.

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Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Utrecht, The Netherlands.


In atopic dermatitis (AD), a high prevalence has been reported of type I reactions and specific IgE to extracts of the commensal lipophilic skin yeast Pityrosporum ovale. In the present study, a highly significant correlation (r = 0.77) was found between levels of anti-P. ovale IgE and of IgE reacting with extracts of Candida albicans, both measured by a sensitive ELISA method. In a series of 128 AD sera, 34 sera reacted positively with both yeast extracts, 38 reacted with P. ovale but not with C. albicans, and only one of the 56 anti-P. ovale-negative sera showed a very weak reaction with C. albicans. The correlation was due to a marked cross-reactivity, as shown by inhibition ELISA. Fluid-phase preincubation of double-positive sera with either of the two yeast extracts resulted in a dose-dependent, and at high concentrations complete, inhibition of the IgE reactions with both coated P. ovale and C. albicans allergens. Mutual inhibition of IgE-binding could also be achieved with pools of glycoproteins and/or polysaccharides isolated from the crude extracts by Con A affinity chromatography. P. ovale allergens were, however, more potent fluid-phase inhibitors than the corresponding C. albicans components. The apparently higher avidity for P. ovale allergens suggests that these antiyeast IgE antibodies in AD result from sensitization to P. ovale and cross-react with C. albicans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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