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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1977 Mar;59(3):247-53.

Clinical application of measurements of serum level of bee venom-specific IgE and IgG.


Bee venom--specific IgE and IgG antibodies were measured in the serum of beekeeepers, bee-allergic persons, and normal persons infrequently stung without adverse effects. Beekeepers, who are stung frequently and relatively "immune" to bee stings, are characterized by high serum levels of IgG- and low serum levels of IgE-specific antibodies. Bee-allergic individuals have high titers of bee venom--specific IgG. Following a bee sting, allergic individuals develop a rising titer of IgE antibodies, accompanied occasionally by a rise in IgG antibodies. Therapy with whole bee body extracts fail to effect IgE or IgG antibody titers. During the course of venom immunotherapy IgG-specific antibodies are stimulated and IgE-specific antibodies continue to decline. These observations suggest that: (1) bee sting allergy is a function of bee venom--specific IgE; (2) bee sting immunity is a function of bee venom--specific IgG; and (3) bee venom is an appropriate therapeutic antigen.

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