Since 1990 7 sunscreen allergens have been included in the standard photopatch protocol at 2 Swedish dermatology clinics. 355 consecutive patients with suspected photosensitivity were tested, and in 28 of these (7.9%), a total of 42 allergic reactions were found. 80% of the reactions were of photocontact origin. The most common allergen was benzophenone-3 (Eusolex 4360), with 15 photocontact and 1 contact allergic reactions, followed by isopropyl dibenzoylmethane (Eusolex 8020) (8 photocontact, 4 contact) and butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane (Parsol 1789), with 6 photocontact reactions. There were 2 cases of photocontact allergy to phenylbenzimidazole sulfonic acid (Eusolex 232), which has not been reported previously. 1 case of contact urticaria from benzophenone-3 was accidentally found. In addition, 21 + reactions of doubtful relevance were noted in 14 patients: 16 on irradiated and 5 on non-irradiated test sites. Among these, irritant and phototoxic reactions may be included. These results indicate that the inclusion of UV filters in the standard photopatch protocol is important. Immediate-type testing for urticaria could also be of value.
Epidemiologic studies continue to find an increased prevalence of rhinitis, asthma, and atopy in more westernized countries. Both allergic and nonallergic rhinitis are risk factors for development of asthma, particularly in adulthood. In patients who have both asthma and rhinitis, treatment of the latter decreases the likelihood of emergency department visits or hospitalization for asthma. The protective effect of intranasal cortico-steroids is much greater than that of antihistamines. This mirrors the effect on rhinitis symptoms, in which nasal corticosteroids are much more effective than antihistamines, leukotriene receptor antagonists, or the combination of both. In patients with severe asthma, sinus mucosal thickening on computed tomography (CT) correlates with the severity of lower airway disease indicated by sputum eosinophilia, exhaled nitrous oxide (NO), functional residual capacity, and diffusing capacity. Preseasonal specific immunotherapy (SIT) is less effective, but additive to treatment with omalizumab. It is also somewhat less effective in reducing nasal symptoms than nasal corticosteroids; however, it is superior to them for reducing lower airway inflammation. SIT in children with only allergic rhinitis reduces both the incidence of asthma and bronchial hyperresponsiveness to methacholine. High-dose sublingual immunotherapy appears to be safe and effective, but less effective than injection immunotherapy. It is not clear that there are cost savings with sublingual immunotherapy, as home administration savings may be offset by the much larger amount of allergen extracts required. New approaches to allergen immunotherapy, designed to increase efficacy and safety, include conjugation of allergens to immunostimulatory sequences and encapsulation in liposomes. Cross-reactivity between inhalants and foods demonstrated by skin prick tests is more predictive of clinically important sensitivity than is that demonstrated by RAST testing. The latter, because of cross-reacting profilins, is often clinically irrelevant.
Th2 T cell immune-driven inflammation plays an important role in allergic asthma. We studied the effect of counterbalancing Th1 T cells in an asthma model in Brown Norway rats that favors Th2 responses. Rats received i.v. transfers of syngeneic allergen-specific Th1 or Th2 cells, 24 h before aerosol exposure to allergen, and were studied 18-24 h later. Adoptive transfer of OVA-specific Th2 cells, but not Th1 cells, and OVA, but not BSA exposure, induced bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) to acetylcholine and eosinophilia in a cell number-dependent manner. Importantly, cotransfer of OVA-specific Th1 cells dose-dependently reversed BHR and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) eosinophilia, but not mucosal eosinophilia. OVA-specific Th1 cells transferred alone induced mucosal eosinophilia, but neither BHR nor BAL eosinophilia. Th1 suppression of BHR and BAL eosinophilia was allergen specific, since cotransfer of BSA-specific Th1 cells with the OVA-specific Th2 cells was not inhibitory when OVA aerosol alone was used, but was suppressive with OVA and BSA challenge. Furthermore, recipients of Th1 cells alone had increased gene expression for IFN-gamma in the lungs, while those receiving Th2 cells alone showed increased IL-4 mRNA. Importantly, induction of these Th2 cytokines was inhibited in recipients of combined Th1 and Th2 cells. Anti-IFN-gamma treatment attenuated the down-regulatory effect of Th1 cells. Allergen-specific Th1 cells down-regulate efferent Th2 cytokine-dependent BHR and BAL eosinophilia in an asthma model via mechanisms that depend on IFN-gamma. Therapy designed to control the efferent phase of established asthma by augmenting down-regulatory Th1 counterbalancing mechanisms should be effective.
BACKGROUND: Up to 5% of patients with dermatitis who are consecutively patch tested are allergic to one or more corticosteroids. However, few reports of allergic mucosal and skin symptoms in patients with asthma and rhinitis caused by inhaled corticosteroids exist. OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to determine whether inhalation of budesonide would result in reactivation of patch test reactions caused by budesonide. METHODS: The study, which was randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled, was ethically reviewed by the Medical Faculty, University of Lund, Sweden. Fifteen nonasthmatic patients who were initially given a diagnosis of budesonide hypersensitivity on patch testing from less than 1 up to 8 years before the study were provoked with budesonide or placebo by inhalation 6 weeks after they had been patch tested with budesonide, its R and S diastereomers, and potentially cross-reacting substances. Lung function was studied by using spirometry and repeated peak expiratory flow measurements. RESULTS: In 4 of 7 patients who inhaled budesonide, reactivation of previously positive patch test reactions was noted within 24 hours, in contrast to 0 of 8 patients who inhaled placebo (P =.026). No adverse pulmonary responses could be detected. CONCLUSION: This study shows that allergic skin reactions may occur in patients with contact allergy to budesonide when inhaled forms of the drug are used.
The purpose of the presented experiments was to study the possibility of using the Brown Norway rat as a model for food allergy in our laboratory. Specific serum IgE against ovalbumin (OVA) was induced after dosing male and female Brown Norway rats daily by gavage for 35 days. The influence of various preparations of allergen: OVA grade II, OVA grade V, and fresh egg white, age (4 versus 8 weeks), dosing volumes, and animal suppliers was studied. A general finding was that females had statistically significantly higher specific IgE and IgG titres and number of responders than males. Egg white preparation, age, dosing volume, and animal supplier did not statistically significantly influence the median IgE and IgG titres and number of responders. The difference between immune responses in males and females could not be attributed to variations in daily intake of OVA or exposure via the lung. In our hands, the oral Brown rat food allergy model gives rise to a moderate number of IgE responders, 13-38 and 38-75% in males and females, respectively. For further experiments with this model in our laboratory, females seem the sex of choice.
We developed an oral sensitization protocol for food proteins for the rat. Young Brown Norway (BN) rats were exposed to 1 mg ovalbumin (OVA) by daily gavage dosing for 42 days without the use of an adjuvant. OVA-specific IgE and IgG responses were determined by ELISA. On an oral challenge with OVA some clinical symptoms of food allergy-like effects on the respiratory system, blood pressure, and permeability of the gastrointestinal barrier were studied. In addition, BN rats were orally exposed to a total hen egg white protein (HEW) extract and cow's milk (CM) and the specificities of induced antibody responses were compared with the specificities of antibodies in sera from egg- and milk-allergic patients using immunoblotting. Animals orally exposed to the allergens developed specific IgE and IgG antibodies which recognized the same proteins compared with antibodies from egg- or CM-allergic patients. Among the various clinical symptoms of food allergy, gut permeability was increased after an oral challenge. In addition, some animals demonstrated a temporary decrease in breathing frequency or systolic blood pressure. The results obtained show that the Brown Norway rat is a suitable animal model for inducing specific IgG and IgE responses on daily intragastric dosing of OVA without the use of an adjuvant. Moreover, local immune-mediated effects on oral challenge are observed. The observation that enterally exposed BN rats and food-allergic patients demonstrate antibody responses to a comparable selection of proteins on exposure to different protein mixtures (HEW and CM) further supports the suitability of the BN rat as an animal model for food allergy research and for the study of the allergenicity of (novel) food proteins.
We studied the biologic activity of allergen preparations using a method involving skin prick tests in humans and the use of HEP (histamine equivalent prick) units. Results were found to be dependent on the population groups used in assays. If populations are not carefully standardized, results may vary by 1 power of 10. Accuracy can also be improved by the use of suitable allergen standard reference preparations, but such were not available to us. Confidence ranges for the biologic activities were relatively wide and varied with the allergen preparation and the population group. Typically, the 95% confidence range included values from one-fifth to five times the estimated HEP value when the number of subjects in the assay was 30 to 50 persons. When the preparations representing the same source material (e.g., timothy pollen) were assayed simultaneously in one population group of this size, a twofold or larger difference in HEP values generally proved significant. An examination of 43 commercial products showed that allergen preparations with biologic activities declared in HEP units had a more uniform biologic activity than those assayed with traditional methods and units (PNU/ml or weight/volume).
BACKGROUND: Atopic sensitization is a well-known risk factor for asthma and bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR). Mites have been regarded as the most important allergens, but the prevalence of sensitization to mites is relatively low in Sweden. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to investigate possible associations between sensitization to various allergens and asthma and BHR in adults. METHODS: A random sample of 1859 subjects, aged 20 to 46 years, was investigated in a cross-sectional study by using a questionnaire, skin prick tests (SPTs), specific and total IgE measurements, and methacholine bronchial challenge tests. Possible associations were analyzed univariately and by using multivariate logistic regression analysis and proportional hazard regression analysis. RESULTS: Positive SPT and specific IgE results were more common in subjects with asthma and BHR than in subjects without these conditions for all allergens. The independent associations between positive SPT responses and asthma and BHR are given as adjusted prevalence ratios (PRRs): pets and asthma, PRR = 3.6; pets and BHR, PRR = 2.0; grass and asthma, PRR = 2.0; grass and BHR, PRR = 1.7; mites and asthma, PRR = 1.4; and mites and BHR, PRR = 1.2. The use of specific IgE measurements instead of SPTs showed essentially similar results. CONCLUSION: Cats and dogs were the sensitizing allergens most closely associated with asthma and BHR. The relationships with sensitization to grass and mites were less pronounced.
Both epoxy resin (diglycidyl ether of bisphenol A) and fragrance mix I are included in the European baseline series of contact allergens. A significant association between positive reactions to epoxy resin and fragrance mix has been reported by others.
To investigate and possibly reproduce this association with the use of TRUE((R)) test data and supplementary tests with fragrance mix ingredients from the Department of Dermatology, Odense University Hospital.
Six thousand one hundred and fifteen consecutive eczema patients tested from 1995 to 2007 were included, and test results from all patients tested with fragrance mix ingredients were analysed.
One hundred and forty-five (2.4%) were positive to epoxy resin and 282 (4.6%) were positive to fragrance mix I. Nineteen were positive to both giving an odds ratio of 3.3, which is significant (95% CI 2.0-5.4). Analysis of association to individual fragrance mix ingredients showed a significant association to alpha-amyl cinnamal and isoeugenol.
The significant association between positive reactions to epoxy resin and fragrance mix I was reproduced. However, the clinical implications are not clarified, and even though the association may be coincidental, the fact that it can be reproduced with a different patch test system and in a different population speaks against a random result. Further studies may help to interpret the association.
BACKGROUND: Identification of patients at risk of developing polysensitization is not possible at present. An association between weak sensitizers and polysensitization has been hypothesized. OBJECTIVES: To examine associations of 21 allergens in the European baseline series to polysensitization. PATIENTS/METHODS: From a database-based study with 14 998 patients patch tested with the European baseline series between 1985 and 2005, a group of 759 (5.1%) patients were polysensitized. Odds ratios were calculated to determine the relative contribution of each allergen to polysensitization. RESULTS: Seven allergens--parabens mix, N-isopropyl-N-phenyl-p-phenylenediamine, sesquiterpene lactone mix, wool alcohols, potassium dichromate, Myroxylon pereirae, and cobalt chloride - showed statistically significant positive associations to polysensitization. Five allergens p-phenylenediamine, neomycin sulfate, epoxy resin, primin, and nickel sulfate showed statistically significant negative associations to polysensitization. For the allergens with the strongest associations, only every second individual with these particular allergies had two or more additional allergies. CONCLUSIONS: No common denominator for the association between the allergens and the polysensitization was apparent, and any association, whether positive or negative, was relatively low. Based on these results, sensitization to specific baseline allergens cannot be used as risk indicators for polysensitization.