Serum Immunoglobulin G Directed Against Porcine Trypsin in Pancreatic Insufficient Cystic Fibrosis Patients Receiving Pancreatic Enzyme Supplements

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SummaryCystic fibrosis (CF) patients frequently malabsorb nutrients because of pancreatic failure. Standard therapy entails oral administration of porcine pancreatic enzymes, with meals. Porcine enzymes contain in excess of 25 potentially antigenic proteins. To evaluate antigenicity of one of these (porcine trypsin), we developed ELISA techniques capable of measuring total immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgG directed against porcine trypsin in patient sera. Cross-sectional evaluation of sera from 12 controls and 41 CF patients showed that IgG directed against porcine trypsin was detectable in 12/17 CF patients receiving porcine enzymes (50.6 ± 56.0 ng/ml; range 0–154.0 ng/ml), while none was detected in controls or the 26 CF subjects not receiving enzymes. In the 17 CF patients receiving enzymes, porcine trypsin binding IgG contributed 0.85 ± 0.83% of the total IgG pool. Levels of porcine trypsin binding did not correlate with total IgG. Longitudinal evaluation was then performed in 26 CF patients, before and after commencement of enzyme therapy. Prior to commencing therapy, porcine trypsin binding IgG was undetectable in sera from 24/26 patients. Within 4.2 years of commencing therapy, 25/26 patients (96%) developed porcine trypsin binding IgG. Thus, serum IgG responses to porcine trypsin appear to be common in CF patients receiving porcine enzymes and contribute considerably to total IgG levels. Other individual enzymes in porcine extracts are likely to elicit similar antigenic response.

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