Naturally Occurring Antibodies (NAbs)

Volume 750 of the series Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology pp 239-261

Naturally Occurring Antibodies/Autoantibodies in Polyclonal Immunoglobulin Concentrates

  • Peter J. SpäthAffiliated withInstitute of Pharmacology, University of Bern Email author 
  • , Hans U. LutzAffiliated withInstitute of Biochemistry, ETH-Hönggerberg

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It was a long way from the use of hyperimmune animal sera for the treatment of toxin-producing infections to the production of polyclonal, polyspecific human immunoglobulin preparations and the use of NAbs as therapeutic tools for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Some highlights of the development of knowledge in blood fractionation techniques, basic science and clinical wisdom are reviewed in this chapter. Proudly we mention the outstanding contribution of Swiss scientists and clinicians in the development of IVIG as clinical tool for some otherwise untreatable diseases or taking advantage of its low adverse event profile in long-term treatment of other chronic autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. This chapter summarizes some of the characteristics and the effects in humans of NAbs which are present in IgG concentrates. We call attention to the fact that the human data remain, at least in part, incomplete, among others because even with the most efficient large-scale techniques available not more than approximately 50% of the total IgG in plasma can be fractionated into an immunoglobulin G concentrate.