Antibodies to polyethylene glycol (PEG) were analyzed in patients with various allergies and in healthy blood donors employing passive hemagglutination. In untreated allergic patients and in healthy blood donors, naturally occurring anti-PEG antibody titers between 32 and 512 were seen in 3.3 and 0.2%, respectively. During hyposensitization with monomethoxy polyethylene glycol modified ragweed extract and honey bee venom, respectively, the patients showed an anti-PEG antibody response. Titers of 32–512 were found in 50% of the patients directly after the first treatment course. After 2 years of treatment the percentage of patients with such titers declined to 28.5%. Mercaptoethanol treatment of sera indicated that the anti-PEG antibodies predominantly were of the IgM isotype. The weak IgM response found in treated patients is considered to be of no clinical significance.

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