Dont tell me the "function" of IgE is to cause allergy !

In whatever texts I have seen it is written that IgE is important to cause allergies but what is the beneficial function of IgE ? Why was it ever created ? Did it have an advantage in the pre historic ages but now causes allergies ?


No, they are of course not there to cause allergies. It is thought (although not directly proven in human) that IgE is important to fight parasites and worms. They bind to antigens from the parasites, which leads to the secretion of histamines. This causes a local immune reaction (which also is a problem in allergies) which is helpful to fight the parasites.

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See these papers for example:

There is also some evidence, that IgE is involved in the immunological response to cancers:

  • $\begingroup$ I referred to some good texts in immunology and saw the mention of its role in fighting parasitic infections. I feel that IgE might have played an important role in survivorship back in the stone age when parasite infections were so prevalent. Now that the amount of parasitic infections have been drastically reduced, it may exist merely as a genetic quirk which causes allergy. (There are many theories on benefit of allergies but they are inconclusive.) $\endgroup$
    – biogirl
    Apr 14 '14 at 4:34
  • $\begingroup$ One obvious thing to determine the function of IgE would be to remove it from body and see what bad effects it causes. There have been several studies on people with lower amount of IgE and they show higher chances and more severe cases of parasitic infections and respiratory tract infections. But these could have been the result of whatever factor caused the reduction of IgE in the first place. It is really important to separate the noise. $\endgroup$
    – biogirl
    Apr 14 '14 at 4:38

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