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Evaluation of IgE-sensitization to fungi in HIV-positive patients with eczematous skin reactions.
Nissen D; Nolte H; Permin H; Heinig J; Skov PS; Norn S; Department of
December 30, 1999
Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 1999 Aug;83(2):153-9. Unique Identifier :

BACKGROUND: Human immunodeficiency virus infection is associated with declining immune function and polyclonal B-cell activation leading to elevated IgE-levels. In selected patient categories, increased total IgE may be associated with allergic diseases. Furthermore, a significant number of patients with low CD4+ cell numbers have various skin manifestations, eg, eczema and dermatophytosis. Patients with chronic fungal infections and a tendency to produce increased levels of specific IgE may become allergic and IgE-mediated mechanism may contribute to inflammatory reactions in the skin. OBJECTIVE: This study investigates IgE-sensitization of patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus to a panel of fungal extracts of Candida albicans, Fusarium moniliforme, Penicillium notatum, Pityrosporum ovale, and Trichophyton rubrum. METHODS: Fifteen HIV-positive patients with eczematous skin manifestations and five non-atopic healthy controls were evaluated by basophil histamine release and skin prick test with fungal extracts. The extracts were separated by sodium dodecylsulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis under reducing conditions and analyzed by IgE-immunoblotting with sera from the patients and controls. RESULTS: Thirteen of 15 patients (87%) released histamine to one or more of the fungi. Skin prick test was positive to one or more fungi in 7 (47%) patients. Patient sera revealed binding to a wide range of IgE-binding components present in the fungal extracts. The IgE response was most often directed against a 46-kD main protein in the Candida albicans extract. There was no correlation between total serum IgE, CD4+ cell counts, and frequency of IgE-sensitization to fungi. CONCLUSION: The human IgE response in HIV-infected patients appears to be polyspecific and may be directed against various fungi of which Candida albicans may be an important allergen. It is possible that the sensitization is due to frequent infections with Candida albicans in this patient population. No unspecific fungal reactions were noted among control patients. These results suggest that allergen-specific IgE-mediated mechanism may contribute to the pathogenesis of the eczematous skin reaction in HIV-infected patients.

JOURNAL ARTICLE Allergens Antigens, Fungal/IMMUNOLOGY Eczema/*COMPLICATIONS Human HIV Seropositivity/*IMMUNOLOGY IgE/*IMMUNOLOGY Immunization Immunoblotting Skin Tests Support, Non-U.S. Gov't