Gelatin-specific humoral and cellular immune responses in children with immediate- and nonimmediate-type reactions to live measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccines

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1997 Jul;100(1):130-4. doi: 10.1016/s0091-6749(97)70204-5.


Background: This study was designed to investigate the development of both cellular and humoral immune responses to gelatin in patients with vaccine-related immediate and nonimmediate reactions. Our purpose was to define the nature of the responses in the different clinical states.

Methods: Six patients with immediate reactions and 21 patients with nonimmediate reactions after inoculation of various live vaccines were studied. Measurement of gelatin-specific IgE was performed in all subjects. Gelatin-specific T-cell responses detected by an in vitro lymphocyte proliferation assay and by an assay for IL-2 responsiveness were investigated to compare the immune response in patients with the two types of reaction.

Results: All six patients with immediate reactions had IgE responses to gelatin, whereas none of the 21 patients with nonimmediate reactions had any anti-gelatin IgE. All of the six patients with immediate reactions and 17 of the 21 patients with nonimmediate reactions exhibited positive T-lymphocyte responses specific to gelatin.

Conclusions: Immediate and nonimmediate reactions are caused by different types of allergy to gelatin, and cell-mediated immunity to gelatin may play an important role in the pathogenesis of nonimmediate reactions.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Viral / biosynthesis*
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Chickenpox Vaccine / adverse effects
  • Chickenpox Vaccine / immunology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epitopes / immunology*
  • Female
  • Gelatin / adverse effects
  • Gelatin / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed / immunology*
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin E / biosynthesis
  • Infant
  • Interleukin-2 / biosynthesis
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Measles Vaccine / adverse effects
  • Measles Vaccine / immunology
  • Mumps Vaccine / adverse effects
  • Mumps Vaccine / immunology
  • Rubella Vaccine / adverse effects
  • Rubella Vaccine / immunology
  • Vaccines, Attenuated / adverse effects
  • Vaccines, Attenuated / immunology
  • Viral Vaccines / adverse effects
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Chickenpox Vaccine
  • Epitopes
  • Interleukin-2
  • Measles Vaccine
  • Mumps Vaccine
  • Rubella Vaccine
  • Vaccines, Attenuated
  • Viral Vaccines
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Gelatin