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May 1966


Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology New York University School of Medicine 550 First Avenue New York, New York 10016

Arch Dermatol. 1966;93(5):635-636. doi:10.1001/archderm.1966.01600230139042

To the Editor:  In the article "Recent Advances in the Understanding of the Penicillin Urticarias" byOtis F. Jillson and Paul S. Porter, which appeared in the issue of the Archives of Dermatology of August 1965 the statement is made: "One of these degradation products, penicillenic acid, is the antigenic determinant in most cases of penicillin hypersensitivity." Much experimental and clinical work has been done to detect the antigenic determinants of penicillin sensitivity in man and it appears important to bring to attention that it is the benzylpenicilloyl haptenic group which is the major antigenic determinant in most cases of penicillin sensitivity.1 The accompanying diagram illustrates the rearrangement of penicillin G to penicillenic acid and the combination of penicillenic acid with lysine-amino groups of proteins to form the benzylpenicilloyl-lysine-protein linkage. This is structurally quite different from the penicillenic acid-protein linkage also illustrated in the diagram which shows the formation

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