Phytohemagglutinin skin test: A possible in vivo measure of cell-mediated immunity

Richard J. Bonforte*, Marcel Topilsky, Louis E. Siltzbach, Philip R. Glade

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The usefulness of in vivo skin reactivity to phytohemagglutinin to assess cell-mediated immunity was investigated in 25 individuals without disease, including ten premature infants. Intradermal injection of 2 μg of phytohemagglutinin produced erythema and induration within 24 to 48 hours. Cutaneous reactivity to phytohemagglutinin was present in the premature infants despite absence of response to intradermal monilia extract and to intradermal streptokinase-streptodornase (SK-SD). In 14 of 16 patients with sarcoidosis and two of three patients with congenital rubella syndrome-diseases associated with altered cell-mediated immunity-2 μg of phytohemagglutinin intracutaneously produced erythema and induration at 48 hours despite the presence or absence of cutaneous reactivity to other skin test antigens. Patients with sarcoidosis responded to phytohemagglutinin in vivo and in vitro, although their in vitro responses were uniformly depressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-780
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1972
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Institutes of Health
National Cancer Institute
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
U.S. Public Health Service
National Heart and Lung InstituteRO1-A110422


    Dive into the research topics of 'Phytohemagglutinin skin test: A possible in vivo measure of cell-mediated immunity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this