Titres of circulating antibodies to wheat gliadin fractions have been determined in children with active coeliac disease using a passive haemagglutination technique. The highest titres against fractions from S.E. Sephadex chromatography of a peptic-tryptic-pancreatic digest of gliadin were obtained against Fraction 9.
Titres of serum antibodies in children with active coeliac disease against a peptictryptic digest of gliadin and its ultrafiltrate were significantly higher than those in children free from gastrointestinal disorders.
Titres of sera from some asymptomatic sibs of the probands were abnormally high against the peptic-tryptic gliadin digest, suggesting a minor gut abnormality in these children, despite normal duodenal mucosal histology.
Haemagglutination titres of sera from patients with active coeliac disease against the protein digests and fractions evaluated seemed to be related to the toxicity of these substances in this disease.