IgE is a key mediator in allergic diseases. However, in strong contrast to other antibody isotypes, many details of the composition of the human IgE repertoire are poorly defined. The low levels of human IgE in the circulation and the rarity of IgE-producing B cells are important reasons for this lack of knowledge. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on these repertoires both in terms of their complexity and activity, i.e. knowledge which despite the difficulties encountered when studying the molecular details of human IgE has been acquired in recent years. We also take a look at likely future developments, for instance through improvements in sequencing technology and methodology that allow the isolation of additional allergen-specific human antibodies mimicking IgE, as this certainly will support our understanding of human IgE in the context of human disease in the years to come.

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