Differential response in allergen-specific IgE, IgGs, and IgA levels for predicting outcome of oral immunotherapy

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Abstract

Background:

Oral immunotherapy (OIT) induces desensitization and/or tolerance in patients with persistent food allergy, but the biomarkers of clinical outcomes remain obscure. Although OIT-induced changes in serum allergen-specific IgE and IgG4 levels have been investigated, the response of other allergen-specific IgG subclasses and IgA during OIT remains obscure.

Methods:

A pilot study was conducted to investigate egg OIT-induced changes in allergen-specific IgE, IgG subclasses, and IgA levels and search for possible prediction biomarkers of desensitization. We measured serum levels of egg white-, ovomucoid-, and ovalbumin-specific IgE, IgA, and IgG subclasses by high-sensitivity allergen microarray in 26 children with egg allergy who received rush OIT.

Results:

Allergen-specific IgE gradually decreased while IgG4 increased during 12-month OIT. Serum levels of IgG1, IgG3, and IgA increased significantly after the rush phase, then decreased during the maintenance phase. IgG2 levels changed in a manner similar to that of IgG4. In particular, significantly high fold increases in egg white-specific IgG1, relative to baseline, after the rush phase and high IgA levels before OIT were observed in responders, compared with low-responders to OIT. Patients who could not keep desensitization showed relatively small changes in all immunoglobulin levels during OIT.

Conclusion:

The response to OIT was associated with significant increases in serum allergen-specific IgG1 levels after rush phase and high baseline IgA levels, compared with small changes in immunoglobulin response in low-responders. The characteristic IgG1 changes and IgA levels in the responders could be potentially useful biomarkers for the prediction of positive clinical response to OIT.

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