Bee venom-specific IgE and IgG antibodies were measured in the serum of beekeepers, bee-allergic persons, and normal persons infrequently stung without adverse effects. Beekeepers, who are stung frequently and relatively "immune" to bee stings, are characterized by high serum levels of IgG- and low serum levels of IgE-specific antibodies. Bee-allergic individuals have high titers of bee venom-specific IgE and generally low titers of bee venom-specific IgG. Following a bee sting, allergic individuals develop a rising titer of IgE antibodies, accompanied occasionally by a rise in IgG antibodies. Therapy with whole bee body extracts fail to effect IgE or IgG antibody titers. During the course of venom immunotherapy IgG-specific antibodies are stimulated and IgE-specific antibodies continue to decline. These observations suggest that: (1) bee sting allergy is a function of bee venom-specific IgE; (2) bee sting immunity is a function of bee venom-specific IgG; and (3) bee venom is an appropriate therapeutic antigen. © 1977.
Light, W. C., Reisman, R. E., Shimizu, M., & Arbesman, C. E. (1977). Clinical application of measurements of serum levels of bee venom-specific IgE and IgG. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 59(3), 247–253. https://doi.org/10.1016/0091-6749(77)90158-0