Hypersensitivity Type I, II, III and IV in one table

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Last Updated on November 23, 2020 by Sagar Aryal

Hypersensitivity Type I, II, III and IV in one table

Here is the comparison table:

S.N.CharacterType IType IIType IIIType IV
1Alternative NameAllergic hypersensitivityCytotoxic hypersensitivityImmune complex hypersensitivityCell-mediated hypersensitivity/ Delayed type of hypersensitivity
2PrincipleAntibody-mediated degranulation of granulocytes leading to the destruction of cells.Antibody-mediated destruction of healthy cells.Antigen-antibody complex-mediated destruction of cells.T lymphocytes mediated destruction of cells.
3Primary MediatorIgEIgG/IgMIgG/IgMSpecific subsets of CD4+ helper T cells or CD8+ cytotoxic T cells.
4Other components as mediatorsMast cells, Basophils, histamine & other pharmacological agentsComplement, NeutrophilsComplement, phagocytes and K cellsDendritic cells, macrophages, and cytokines
5Reaction timeImmediate or within a few hours5-8 hours2-8 hoursAfter 24 hours only, mostly 48-72 hours after contact
6AntigenFree in circulation (Soluble)Fixed on cellsFree in circulation ( Soluble)Soluble or cell-bound
7Antigen originExogenousEndogenous or exogenousExogenous or endogenousExogenous or endogenous
8AntibodyFixed on mast cells and basophilsFree in circulationFree in circulationNot applicable
9MechanismAllergen-specific IgE antibodies bind to mast cells via their Fc receptor. When the specific allergen binds to the IgE, cross-linking of IgE induces degranulation of mast cells.IgG or IgM antibody binds to a cellular antigen, leading to complement activation and cell lysis. IgG can also mediate ADCC with cytotoxic T cells, natural killer cells, macrophages, and neutrophils.Antigen-antibody complexes are deposited in tissues. Complement activation provides inflammatory mediators and recruits neutrophils. Enzymes released from neutrophils damage tissue.Th2 cells secrete cytokines, which activate macrophages and cytotoxic T cells.
10Complement activationNoYesYesNo
11AppearanceWeal & flareLysis & necrosisErythema & edemaErythema & induration
12Transfer with serumPassive transfer possible with serumPassive transferPassive transferCannot be transferred with serum; but possible with T cells transfer
13DesensitizationEasy but short-livedEasy but short-livedEasy but short-livedDifficult but long-lived.
14ExamplesAsthma, Rhinitis, Atopic eczema, Bee sting reactionRhesus incompatibility (Rh hemolytic disease), Transfusion Reactions, Cell Destruction due to autoantigens, Drug-Induced Hemolytic AnemiaGlomerulonephritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Farmer’s lung arthritis, VasculitisThe tuberculin reaction, Granuloma formation, Allergic contact dermatitis, Type-1 diabetes


  1. https://courses.lumenlearning.com/microbiology/chapter/hypersensitivities/
  2. http://www.biologydiscussion.com/immunology/4-main-types-of-hypersensitivity-immunology/61851
  3. https://www.slideshare.net/drsomeshwaranamsana/hypersensitivity-reactions-dr-somesh-microbiology
  4. http://www.yourarticlelibrary.com/immunology/type-iii-hypersensitivity-and-its-mechanism-human-immunology/28081
  5. Lydyard, P.M., Whelan,A.,& Fanger,M.W. (2005).Immunology (2 ed.).London: BIOS Scientific Publishers.
  6. Owen, J. A., Punt, J., & Stranford, S. A. (2013). Kuby Immunology (7 ed.). New York: W.H. Freeman and Company.

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