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Specificity of rheumatoid factors in relation to the disease state in rheumatoid arthritis.
  1. M G Jones,
  2. M E Shipley,
  3. J P Hearn,
  4. F C Hay
  1. Immunology Department, St George's Hospital Medical School, Tooting, London.

    Abstract

    Rheumatoid factors found in patients with rheumatoid arthritis react with human IgG and with IgG from some other species. The levels of rheumatoid factor give some indication of prognosis, albeit a rather poor one in this highly variable disease. The high degree of variability may, in part, be due to differences in the fine specificity of the rheumatoid factor in each individual patient, leading to differences in the types of immune complex formed. To study this hypothesis the fine specificity of rheumatoid factors of the IgM, IgA, and IgG classes for IgG from human, baboon, orangutan, macaque, owl monkey, gorilla, marmoset, cow, pig, sheep, goat, horse, mouse, and chicken was examined. Differential reactivity for these species was found and associations between the presence of rheumatoid factor and the development of moderate or severe erosions.

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