The use of bovine collagen implants (BCIs) for the correction of dermal contour deformities is becoming widespread. A small percentage of patients receiving treatment with BCIs suffer adverse reactions that appear to be of an immune nature. Circulating antibodies to BCIs are found in all patients suffering adverse treatment reactions and in small numbers of normal individuals and BCI-treated patients not suffering adverse reactions. These antibodies are always IgG, although quite often IgA is also present. The anti-BCI antibodies are quite stable, suffering virtually no loss of activity after storage at room temperature for 54 days. Immunoblotting studies indicate that no singular component of the BCI collagen is the prime antigenic component; multiple regions of the collagen molecule are recognized by patients' antibodies.
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