Polymerization of allergens decreases allergenicity while retaining immunogenicity, as we have demonstrated for ragweed, grass, and tree pollens. We have also polymerized bee venom with human albumin to form soluble, high-molecular-weight copolymers that are immunogenic in rabbits. We now have prepared a soluble wasp venom-albumin polymer (WVAP), molecular weight ≥240,000 daltons, by glutaraldehyde treatment and Sephacryl S-300 column fractionation. Rabbits immunized with WVAP produced IgG to both WVAP and wasp venom (WV), as measured by ELISA. IgG against WVAP was totally inhibitable by a mixture of WV and albumin, demonstrating both retention of native antigens and absence of new antigenic determinants in WVAP. IgG against WV in serum from patients receiving maintenance doses of WV immunotherapy was inhibited by WVAP. In summary, we have synthesized a soluble, high-molecular-weight copolymer of WV that retains the immunogenicity of native WV, contains no new antigenic determinants, and has potential value in the treatment of patients with WV anaphylaxis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy