Theoretical Basis and Experimental Studies on the Prevention of Allergic Reactions to Penicillins by a Monovalent Benzylpenicilloyl Hapten
The principle of hapten inhibition is as old as immunochemistry itself. It was used already more than 50 years ago by Landsteiner to determine the specificity of antibodies directed against chemically defined antigenic determinants (1). The principle of hapten inhibition is shown in Fig. 1. An excess of monovalent antigenic determinants, that is of molecules carrying only one antigenic determinant per molecule will block antibody combining sites and prevent antibodies to form multimolecular complexes with plurivalent antigens. Although this principle has been applied in immunochemi-stry for the specific inhibition of numerous reactions in vitro, such as precipitation, complement fixation, hemagglutination etc., it is somewhat surprising that the potential of hapten inhibition for preventing in vivo allergic reactions due to antibodies only started to be investigated 15 years ago independently by the groups of Eisen (2) and of Ovary (3) in the United States.
KeywordsAllergic Reaction Anaphylactic Reaction Antigenic Determinant Penicillin Allergy Passive Cutaneous Anaphylaxis
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