Sensitivity to ampicillin in pemphigus vulgaris patients and first-degree healthy relatives

Sarah Brenner, Anat Bialy-Golan, Michal Fishman, Ella Livni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective To elucidate the relationship between the endogenous and exogenous factors involved in pemphigus vulgaris. Background Based on the observation that patients suffering hypersensitivity to penicillin often develop intercellular antibodies indistinguishable from those typical of pemphigus, it was decided to examine the hypersensitivity to a widely used semi-synthetic penicillin, ampicillin, in pemphigus vulgaris (PV) patients and their blood relatives. Methods Hypersensitivity was tested by macrophage migration inhibition factor (MIF) and mast cell degranulation (MCD) tests in 13 pemphigus vulgaris (PV) patients and 24 of their first-degree relatives. Results The humoral immune response to ampicillin was increased in PV patients and their relatives compared to controls. The cell mediated immune response was increased in the relatives compared to the controls, and negative in all patients, probably due to steroid therapy. Conclusions Increased humoral hypersensitivity to ampicillin in both PV patients and their relatives emphasizes the close relationship between drugs and the pathogenesis of the disease, and points to a possible genetic predisposition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-145
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Ampicillin
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Pemphigus vulgaris


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