Multifunctional derivatives of penicillenic acid are effective elicitors of wheal-and-erythema skin responses in humans allergic to penicillin. Of the effective derivatives, penicilloyl-polylysines are particularly attractive as skin test reagents because they appear to be incapable of inducing antibody formation. The skin responses are specifically inhibitable in most instances by homologous unifunctional haptens. The penicillenic acid derivatives which appear to be determinants of human allergic reactions to penicillin are: penicilloyl, penicillenate, and groups of the penamaldate-penilloaldehyde type. Of these, the most significant appears to be the penicilloyl-lysyl determinant.

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