The clinical course of a patient with severe acute and chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis of the pigeon breeders' disease (PBD) type was evaluated. A significant remission of symptomatic, roentgenographic and pulmonary function abnormalities occurred after cessation of exposure to antigen. Immunoglobulin G (IgG), A (IgA) and M (IgM) antibody activity against pigeon serum was demonstrated in the patient's serum by a solid phase radioimmunoassay (RIA) technic. The levels of these antibodies fell subsequent to elimination of antigen inhalation. The RIA technic was used to demonstrate IgG, IgA and IgM antibody activity in single serum samples of four other patients with PBD, and this technic may have diagnostic value. Although no immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody was demonstrable by RIA, a heat-labile, reaginic antibody was also detectable in the serum of the primary case. In addition, Arthus type cutaneous reactivity was passively transferred to the skin of a volunteer subject using heated serum from a patient with PBD.
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