April 5, 1965

Value of Skin Testing for Penicillin Allergy

Author Affiliations

Head, Division of Immunology, Allergy, and Infectious Disease University of Oregon Medical School Portland

JAMA. 1965;192(1):64-65. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080140070030

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To the Editor:—  In recent months a number of studies have been published on the value of skin testing for sensitivity to penicillin, especially with the use of various antigenic determinants. Several papers in The Journal (Rytel et al, 186: 894-898 [Dec 7] 1963, and Budd et al, 190:203-205 [Oct 19] 1964) concur with the report of Parker and Thiel (abstracted, Ann Intern Med58:763, 1963) that penicilloylpolylysine provides a reliable preparation for the skin testing of patients with a positive history of immediate type sensitivity to penicillin. On the other hand, Siegel and Levine (J Allerg35:488-498 [Nov-Dec] 1964) provided evidence that such a derivative gives negative skin-test reactions in a number of patients clinically sensitive, while potassium penicillin G produces marked immediate wheal. Finke et al (Amer J Med38:71-82 [Jan] 1965) stated, "It may be that skin testing with penicillin G is a

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