IgE Seems Dispensable

Unlike the other four antibody classes and other components in the human blood and tissue that are generally present in rather defined ranges, IgE exists in an extremely broad range, from less than a few nanograms to more than a few micrograms per milliliter in serum. Some individuals with normal immune function have very low or even undetectable IgE levels in serum. These facts seem to suggest either that IgE does not play an essential role or that IgE plays a beneficial role, but it is dispensable and its roles can be filled by other immune mechanisms when IgE is absent. IgE may have some role in controlling parasites, but if removed, redundancy in the immune system can provide protection.

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