Cat and dust mite allergen levels, specific IgG and IgG4, and respiratory symptoms in adults

Deborah Jarvis*, Jan Paul Zock, Joachim Heinrich, Cecilie Svanes, Giuseppe Verlato, Mario Olivieri, Simona Villani, Michela Ponzio, Benedicte Leynaert, Jordi Sunyer, Anna Dahlman-Hoglund, Susan Chinn, Christina Luczynska, Dan Norbäck, Peter Burney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Exposure to allergen may induce a modified TH2 response characterized by high IgG4 levels, absence of IgE sensitization, and a decreased risk of allergic respiratory symptoms. Objective: To assess the association of IgG4 level with allergic respiratory symptoms in a community-based sample of adults. Methods: Information on exposure to cats, respiratory symptoms, and mattress allergen levels was obtained from 2780 adults. Levels of cat and house dust mite (HDM) specific IgE, IgG, and IgG4 were measured. The association of exposure to allergen with IgG4 and of IgG4 with symptoms was assessed. Results: Geometric mean (GM) cat specific IgG and IgG4 was higher in subjects who had a cat that was allowed in the bedroom than in subjects without a cat (adjusted ratio of GM IgG4, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.25-1.57). Levels of HDM specific IgG and IgG4 were similar in subjects with undetectable and high (>20.22 μg/g) mattress Der 1 levels (adjusted ratio of GM IgG4, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.89-1.17). There was no evidence that high cat or HDM specific IgG4 levels were associated with less IgE sensitization or with fewer symptoms. Conclusion: In this community-based sample of adults, high IgG4 levels to cat or HDM were not associated with a lower risk of allergic respiratory symptoms. Clinical implications: In adults, high cat allergen exposure does not protect against respiratory symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-704
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The coordination of ECRHS II was supported by the European Commission as part of their Quality of Life program. For funders of the data collection in each center, please see this article's Online Repository at


  • cat
  • house dust mite
  • IgG


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