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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
Decline in Total Serum IgE After Treatment for Tuberculosis
Adams, J.F.A.; Scholvinck, E.H.; Gie, R.P.; et al.
June 16, 1999
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.