Comparison of serum specific IgE antibodies to staphylococcal enterotoxins between atopic children with and without atopic dermatitis.Allergy. 2000 Jul; 55(7):641-6.A
The skin of patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) exhibits a striking susceptibility to colonization and infection by Staphylococcus aureus. The exotoxins secreted by S. aureus can act as superantigens and classic allergens, inducing the production of functionally relevant specific IgE antibodies. The aim of this study was to compare the levels and positive rates of serum staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA)- and staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB)-specific IgE between atopic children with and without AD.
Sixty children with AD, 55 children with respiratory allergy without AD, and 24 nonatopic healthy children were studied. The levels and positive rates of serum SEA- and SEB-specific IgE were compared among three groups. The correlation between the levels or positive rates of serum SEA/SEB-specific IgE and the severity of AD or the presence of previous skin infections was studied.
The children with AD had significantly higher levels and positive rates of serum SEA- and SEB-specific IgE than the atopic children without AD (P < 0.001) and the nonatopic children (P < 0.001). There was no significant difference in the levels and positive rates of serum SEA- and SEB-specific IgE between the atopic children without AD and the nonatopic children. With or without adjustment for the potential confounding effect of total serum IgE levels, the levels and positive rates of serum SEA- and SEB-specific IgE were significantly correlated with severity of AD (P <0.005), but they were not significantly different between AD children with and without previous skin infections.
SEA and SEB may contribute to chronic inflammation and exacerbation of AD through the IgE-mediated immune response.