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Clin Diagn Lab Immunol. 2002 Jan;9(1):101-4.

Immunoglobulin E antileishmanial antibody response in cutaneous leishmaniasis.

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Departamento de Análises Clínicas e Toxicológicas, Faculdade de Farmácia da Universidade Federal da Bahia, 40110-160 Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.


High levels of antileishmanial immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies are associated with disease activity in visceral leishmaniasis. Herein, we report our observations about the relationship between antileishmanial IgE antibodies and clinical aspects of cutaneous leishmaniasis. This study was carried out with 45 patients (29 male and 16 female), with ages ranging from 11 to 48 years. All subjects were from an area to which leishmaniasis is endemic, Corte de Pedra (Bahia, Brazil), and the duration of the illness was </=30 days. The patients were classified as positive or negative for IgE serology in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with leishmanial antigens. IgE antibodies were detected in 18 patients (optical density, 0.421 +/- 0.30; 95% confidence interval, 0.27 to 0.57), and only 3 (17%) had more than one ulcer. In this group the diameter of Montenegro's reaction was 18 +/- 12.2 mm. In the group with negative IgE serology, 11 of 27 patients (48%) presented two or more cutaneous ulcers, and the mean of the skin test result was 9 +/- 6.9 mm. There was a positive correlation between IgE antibody levels and Montenegro's reaction size and an inverse correlation between IgE antileishmanial antibodies and the number of skin ulcers. The presence of antileishmanial IgE antibodies in cutaneous leishmaniasis may be a result of immunoregulatory events with clinical implications.

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