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Immunological aspects of nonimmediate reactions to beta-lactam antibiotics

Esther Morena Rodilla, Ignacio Dávila González, Elena Laffond Yges, Francisco Javier Múñoz Bellido, María Teresa Gracia Bara, Félix Lorente Toledano
Expert Review of Clinical Immunology 2010, 6 (5): 789-800
20828287
beta-lactam antibiotics are the agents most frequently implied in immune drug adverse reactions. These can be classified as immediate or nonimmediate according to the time interval between the last drug administration and their onset. Mechanisms of immediate IgE-mediated reactions are widely studied and are therefore better understood. Nonimmediate reactions include a broad number of clinical entities like mild maculopapular exanthemas, the most common, and other less frequent but more severe reactions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, acute exanthematic pustulosis or cytopenias. These nonimmediate reactions are mainly mediated by T cells but the precise underlying mechanisms are not well elucidated. This fact complicates the allergological evaluation of patients with this type of reaction and available tests have demonstrated poor sensitivity and specificity.

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