Serum IgE and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1990 Feb;85(2):445-52. doi: 10.1016/0091-6749(90)90154-v.


Human immunodeficiency virus infection is characterized by a progressive depletion of helper T-lymphocytes and, like allergic diseases, is associated with altered T cell regulation. Total serum IgE was measured in 67 infected male subjects, 27 uninfected heterosexual male subjects, and 18 uninfected homosexual male subjects. The mean IgE level (132 IU/ml) of infected subjects with a helper T-lymphocyte number less than or equal to 200/mm3 was significantly greater than mean IgE levels of the uninfected heterosexual (38 IU/ml) and homosexual (35 IU/ml) groups. IgE levels were inversely related to both helper T cell and suppressor/cytotoxic T cell numbers but not to IgG or IgA levels. The increase in IgE was not a reflection of an increased prevalence of atopic disease (allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis, or atopic dermatitis) in the infected subjects. The elevation of IgE may be related to a difference among the groups in T cell production of IgE regulatory lymphokines.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / immunology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • CD4 Antigens / analysis
  • HIV Seropositivity / immunology
  • HIV-1*
  • Homosexuality
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin A / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin E / analysis*
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sexual Behavior
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • CD4 Antigens
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin E