PlattsMills TAE, Longbottom J, Edwards J, Cockcroft A, Wilkins S, Occupational asthma and rhinitis related to laboratory rats: serum IgG and IgE antibodies to the rat urinary allergen, J Allergy Clin Immunol, 1987;79:505-515,

BOHRF Original Authors' Main Conclusions

The original authors' main conclusions are taken from Abstract, Results and Discussion. They are decided upon by the authors of the BOHRF occupational asthma guidelines and form part of the guidelines.

IgG and IgE antibodies to a purified rat urinary allergen in sera were measured in 179 laboratory workers of whom 30 reported symptoms on exposure to rats. There was a good correlation between IgE antibodies and positive skin tests. There was also a close correlation between reported asthmatic reactions and serum IgE antibody to rat allergen - IgE was present in 12/18 of workers with asthmatic reactions but only 2/135 of workers without symptoms. IgG to rat allergen were present in all sera with IgE antibody but were also present in 30% of asymptomatic individuals. The incidence and quantity of IgG antibody correlated with the degree of exposure to animals but not with the length of exposure in years. Authors conclude that IgE antibody responses to rat urinary allergen are an important cause of occupational disease. The results for IgG antibody suggest that their prevalence represents a marker for the degree of exposure to rat proteins.

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