Both IgA subclasses are reduced in parotid saliva from patients with AIDS

Clin Exp Immunol. 1991 Feb;83(2):203-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.1991.tb05615.x.


Secretory IgA (SIgA), the isotypes IgA1 and IgA2, and IgM were measured by ELISA in stimulated parotid saliva from patients with AIDS (n = 16), subjects with asymptomatic HIV infection (n = 28), and HIV-seronegative healthy controls (n = 19). SIgA was significantly reduced in the AIDS group (10.4 micrograms/ml) compared with the asymptomatic HIV-infected subjects (17.1 micrograms/ml) and the controls (23.0 micrograms/ml). This decrease comprised both IgA1 and IgA2 to a similar extent on a relative basis. The SIgA decrease in AIDS patients was in striking contrast to their serum IgA level, which was significantly increased (6.9 g/l) compared with the asymptomatic HIV-infected subjects (2.9 g/l) as well as the controls (2.8 g/l). Low parotid output of SIgA in patients with HIV infection was associated with low numbers of CD4+ lymphocytes in peripheral blood as well as the presence of oral infections. The parotid output of IgM was similar in all groups. A low level of SIgA in the external secretions of patients with AIDS may well contribute to their frequent mucosal infections of opportunistic microorganisms.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / immunology*
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Gene Products, gag / analysis
  • HIV Core Protein p24
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory / analysis*
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory / classification
  • Immunoglobulin M / analysis
  • Male
  • Molecular Weight
  • Parotid Gland / immunology
  • Saliva / immunology*
  • Viral Core Proteins / analysis


  • Gene Products, gag
  • HIV Core Protein p24
  • Immunoglobulin A, Secretory
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Viral Core Proteins