The report describes the development of a mixed reverse (solid-phase) passive antiglobulin haemadsorption (MrsPAH) test for specific IgE antibody to castor bean allergen. The allergen is immobilised by formalin fixation in the wells of polyvinyl chloride microtitre plates. After allowing allergen-specific antibodies in the test serum to bind to the allergen, plates are washed thoroughly, and red cells coupled by chromic chloride to sheep IgG anti-human IgE are used to detect specifically bound IgE. This system was compared with a solid-phase radioimmunoassay in which 125I-labelled anti-IgE was substituted for the antiglobulin-linked red cells of the MrsPAH test; the earlier stages of both tests being the same. 12 sera, 10 from patients with allergic asthma to castor bean allergen and two from non-allergic controls, were tested for castor-bean-specific serum IgE by both methods and the results showed high correlation. The MrsPAH test for allergen-specific serum IgE provides a useful alternative to the RAST system, being free of the disadvantages inherent in the use of radio-labelled materials.

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