Prospective estimation of IgG, IgG subclass and IgE antibodies to dietary proteins in infants with cow milk allergy. Levels of antibodies to whole milk protein, BLG and ovalbumin in relation to repeated milk challenge and clinical course of cow milk allergy

Allergy. 1992 Jun;47(3):218-29. doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.1992.tb00654.x.


Prospectively, serum levels of IgE, specific IgE antibodies (AB) to whole cow milk protein (CMP), bovine se-albumin, bovine immunoglobulin, bovine lactoferrin, bovine lactalbumin and beta-lactoglobulin (BLG), IgG and IgG subclass antibodies to ovalbumin (OA) and BLG, and IgG4 RAST to CMP (bovine whey) were measured in 39 infants with cow milk protein allergy (CMPA) at birth (cord blood), at time of diagnosis and before and after milk challenge at the age of 12 months. Immunological measurements were also undertaken in 33 control infants without CMPA at birth, at 6 months and at 18 months. At no time, were differences found between the levels of IgG and IgG subclass AB to OA and BLG in control versus infants with CMPA. In the 39 infants with CMPA no correlation was found between the levels of IgE, IgG and IgG subclass AB in cord blood and subsequent levels of these values, irrespective of the type of CMPA (IgE-mediated (CMA) or non-IgE-mediated (CMI)), and irrespective of whether remission had occurred. In cord blood 25/33 (76%) of the infants with CMPA had specific IgE-AB to one or more of the bovine milk proteins indicating a prenatal intrauterine sensitization to cow milk protein. At 6 months the frequency of specific IgE-AB to bovine milk proteins was significantly (p less than 0.05) higher in infants with CMA versus CMI, and at 12 months total serum-IgE and the increase of these specific IGE-AB and RAST to CMP were significantly higher (p less than 0.05) in infants with persistent CMA. From 6 to 12 months withholding milk resulted in a significant fall in specific IgE-AB to CMP, and IgG, IgG1 and IgG4 anti-BLG followed by an increase after milk challenge. Decreasing levels of IgG anti-OA from birth to 6 months reflect passive maternal transfer of IgG through the placenta, and increasing levels of IgG anti-BLG, already from birth to 6 months, may represent an early exposure to CMP in all infants. Significantly higher levels (p less than 0.05) of IgG anti-OA AB, IgG1 and IgG4 anti-BLG AB were found in infants with persistent CMA, indicating a close relation between the synthesis of IgE and IgG and between IgE and IgG subclasses (IgG1 and IgG4) in symptomatic cow milk-allergic individuals.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / analysis*
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis*
  • Immunoglobulin G / classification
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Lactoglobulins / immunology
  • Male
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / diagnosis
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / epidemiology
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Milk Proteins / immunology
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • Prospective Studies


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Lactoglobulins
  • Milk Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Ovalbumin