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The usefulness of casein-specific IgE and IgG4 antibodies in cow's milk allergic children
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Respiratory Medicine and Allergology.
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2012 (English)In: Clinical and Molecular Allergy, ISSN 1476-7961, Vol. 10, no 1, 1- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


Cow's milk allergy is one of the most common food allergies among younger children. We investigated IgE antibodies to milk, and IgE and IgG4 antibodies to casein, α-lactalbumin and β-lactoglobulin in cow's milk allergic (CMA) and non-allergic (non-CMA) children in order to study their clinical usefulness.


Eighty-three children with suspected milk allergy (median age: 3.5 years, range: 0.8-15.8 years) were diagnosed as CMA (n = 61) or non-CMA (n = 22) based on an open milk challenge or convincing clinical history. Their serum concentrations of allergen-specific (s) IgE and IgG4 antibodies were measured using ImmunoCAP®. For the sIgG4 analysis, 28 atopic and 31 non-atopic control children were additionally included (all non-milk sensitized).


The CMA group had significantly higher levels of milk-, casein- and β-lactoglobulin-sIgE antibodies as compared to the non-CMA group. The casein test showed the best discriminating performance with a clinical decision point of 6.6 kUA/L corresponding to 100% specificity. All but one of the CMA children aged > 5 years had casein-sIgE levels > 6.6 kUA/L. The non-CMA group had significantly higher sIgG4 levels against all three milk allergens compared to the CMA group. This was most pronounced for casein-sIgG4 in non-CMA children without history of previous milk allergy. These children had significantly higher casein-sIgG4 levels compared to any other group, including the non-milk sensitized control children.


High levels of casein-sIgE antibodies are strongly associated with milk allergy in children and might be associated with prolonged allergy. Elevated casein-sIgG4 levels in milk-sensitized individuals on normal diet indicate a modified Th2 response. However, the protective role of IgG4 antibodies in milk allergy is unclear.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 10, no 1, 1- p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-191214DOI: 10.1186/1476-7961-10-1PubMedID: 22212305OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-191214DiVA: diva2:585058
Available from: 2013-01-09 Created: 2013-01-09 Last updated: 2013-01-30Bibliographically approved

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