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.
Bibliographical noteFunding 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 www.jacionline.org.
- house dust mite