Humoral immunity to dietary antigens in healthy adults. Occurrence, isotype and IgG subclass distribution of serum antibodies to protein antigens

Int Arch Allergy Appl Immunol. 1985;77(4):416-22. doi: 10.1159/000233819.


The occurrence of antibodies to five dietary protein antigens in the sera from 21 healthy adults was investigated by a modified Farr assay. Antibody to ovalbumin (OA) occurred most frequently (90%) whereas only 24% had antibodies to alpha-lactalbumin (ALA). No correlation was noted between the titer of antibodies against bovine serum albumin (BSA) and OA in the single individual. The avidity constants (10(8)-10(9) l/mol) and cross-reactivities against other albumins of anti-BSA antibodies in two human sera were comparable to that of the antibodies in pooled hyperimmune rabbit antiserum. Crossed radioimmunoelectrophoresis showed serum anti-BSA and anti-OA antibodies to be predominantly of the IgG class (13/13, 10/10), occasionally of the IgA- (6/13, 1/10) and rarely of the IgM class (1/13, 0/10). Analysis by radioelectroimmunoassay (rocket immunoelectrophoresis) of the IgG subclass distribution of anti-BSA and anti-OA antibodies showed total absence of IgG3. In contrast, antibodies of the IgG4 subclass were frequently present even in sera with very low levels of total IgG4.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibody Affinity
  • Antigens / immunology*
  • Cross Reactions
  • Dietary Proteins / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Allotypes / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin G / classification
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine / immunology


  • Antigens
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin Allotypes
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Serum Albumin, Bovine
  • Ovalbumin