Sera from 56 patients and normal adults were examined to quantitate total immunoglobulin E (IgE) and IgE antibodies to Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Patients were divided into six groups based on clinical symptoms; a seventh group consisted of normal adtults. Anti-S. aureus IgE binding was significantly higher in three groups of patients (those with eczema, those with or without serious staphylococcal abscesses, and allergic patients with staphylococcal skin infections) than it was in the control group. Patients with high IgE due to allergies or parasitic infections without staphylococcal infections and patients with low or normal IgE and serious staphylococcal infection showed low levels of binding. The assay measured specific binding of IgE to bacterial antigens.