Lancet (06/12/99) Vol. 353, No. 9169, P. 2030
South African researchers report "pronounced and consistent"
reductions in levels of serum IgE, a marker of a type-2 immune
response to intestinal parasites, following successful
treatment of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which produces a
type-1 response. Type 1 and Type 2 responses inhibit each
other. The prospective study, conducted in the Western Cape
Province of South Africa, found that overall IgE levels were
high in both the controls and patients prior to therapy.
Concentrations declined in all patients after successful
treatment. Members of the control group had lower ascaris-
specific IgE than patients prior to treatment, and the level
was 2.39 kU/L in patients following therapy. The findings
suggest that human IgE concentrations could be downregulated
in such situations, possibly by boosting a type-1 response.