IgG subclass deficiencies associated with bronchiectasis

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1996 Feb;153(2):650-5. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.153.2.8564113.


Only a small number of patients with IgG subclass deficiencies (IgGSD) have been observed to have bronchiectasis. Moreover, in the series of patients with bronchiectasis, IgGSD have not been found at any frequency, and the etiology of bronchiectasis remains unclear in 29 to 49% of cases. Serum concentrations of total IgG, IgA, and IgG subclasses as well as pulmonary function were measured in 65 patients (aged: 10 to 74 yr) with bronchiectasis of unknown etiology. An ELISA test was performed to quantify subclasses 1 through 4 using subclass-specific antihuman monoclonal antibodies. IgG subclass estimation in a healthy population with age-stratified normal ranges was derived from 100 adults, 37 children aged between 10 and 12 yr, and 27 adolescents aged between 13 and 16 yr. Serum concentrations of specific IgG antibodies to Haemophilus influenzae type b capsular polysaccharide (Hib-PRP) were also assayed by an ELISA test in 19 of the patients (10 with IgGSD and nine with non-IgGSD) and in 58 healthy individuals before and 3 wk after immunization with Hib-PRP conjugated to meningococcal outer membrane protein complex (OMPC). Thirty-one patients (48%) had low serum concentrations of one or more IgG subclasses (19 IgG2 deficiencies, 2 IgG3 deficiencies, 3 IgG4 deficiencies, and 7 combined subclass deficiencies). All patients showed increased levels of total IgG, IgG1, and IgA, but this rise was significantly higher in patients without IgGSD. Patients with IgGSD showed impaired antibody response to Hib-PRP compared with patients with non-IgGSD and the control group. IgGSD, particularly IgG2 deficiency, are not an unusual cause of bronchiectasis. Therefore, serum levels of IgG subclasses must be assayed whenever other causes of bronchiectasis have been ruled out.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins / immunology
  • Bronchiectasis / complications
  • Bronchiectasis / immunology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Haemophilus Vaccines / immunology
  • Humans
  • IgG Deficiency / complications*
  • Immunization
  • Immunoglobulin A / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin G / classification
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial / immunology
  • Vaccines, Conjugate / immunology


  • Bacterial Outer Membrane Proteins
  • Haemophilus Vaccines
  • Haemophilus influenzae-type b polysaccharide-Neisseria meningitidis outer membrane protein conjugate vaccine
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial
  • Vaccines, Conjugate