Clinical Use and Therapeutic Potential of IVIG/SCIG, Plasma-Derived IgA or IgM, and Other Alternative Immunoglobulin Preparations

Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). 2017 Jun;65(3):215-231. doi: 10.1007/s00005-016-0422-x. Epub 2016 Sep 16.


Intravenous and subcutaneous immunoglobulin preparations, consisting of IgG class antibodies, are increasingly used to treat a broad range of pathological conditions, including humoral immune deficiencies, as well as acute and chronic inflammatory or autoimmune disorders. A plethora of Fab- or Fc-mediated immune regulatory mechanisms has been described that might act separately or in concert, depending on pathogenesis or stage of clinical condition. Attempts have been undertaken to improve the efficacy of polyclonal IgG preparations, including the identification of relevant subfractions, mild chemical modification of molecules, or modification of carbohydrate side chains. Furthermore, plasma-derived IgA or IgM preparations may exhibit characteristics that might be exploited therapeutically. The need for improved treatment strategies without increase in plasma demand is a goal and might be achieved by more optimal use of plasma-derived proteins, including the IgA and the IgM fractions. This article provides an overview on the current knowledge and future strategies to improve the efficacy of regular IgG preparations and discusses the potential of human plasma-derived IgA, IgM, and preparations composed of mixtures of IgG, IgA, and IgM.

Keywords: Host defence; IVIG; Immunoglobulin preparations; Immunomodulation; Polyclonal IgA; Polyclonal IgG; Polyclonal IgM; SCIG.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / metabolism*
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism
  • Immunoglobulin M / metabolism*
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous / therapeutic use*
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / immunology
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes / therapy*
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Plasma / immunology*


  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Immunoglobulins, Intravenous