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December 1973

Serum and Secretory Antibodies in Patients With Chronic Bronchitis

Author Affiliations

Burlington, Vt

From the Department of Medicine, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington.

Arch Intern Med. 1973;132(6):847-851. doi:10.1001/archinte.1973.03650120053010

Serum and secretory immunoglobulins were studied in patients with chronic bronchitis. Serum immunoglobulin levels of 26 patients with chronic bronchitis were not markedly higher than those of 23 controls. The same patients also had serum antibodies to Haemophilus influenzae but not markedly more than the control group. Serum antibodies were principally IgG and, to a lesser extent, IgM and IgA. Immunoglobulins G and A were found in saliva and sputum by immunodiffusion, and all three immunoglobulins were found by immunofluorescence. Sputum concentrations of IgG and IgA were approximately equal and were found in concentrations three to four times higher than that in saliva. Specific H influenzae and pneumococcal antibodies generally were present in sputum. From these studies, no immunological effect could be demonstrated in these patients to explain their chronic bronchial infection.