BACKGROUND: The mean wheal diameter >/= 3 mm is the usual criterion for positive skin prick test (SPT) reaction to dust mites. The study assessed the accuracy of this SPT criterion with respect to specific IgE values of above 0.35 kUA/l (+ sIgE). METHODS: Specific IgE (ImmunoCAP, Pharmacia AB Diagnostics, Uppsala, Sweden) and standard SPT to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (DP) and farinae (DF), Lepidoglyphus destructor (LD) and Tyrophagus putrescentiae (TP) (ALK, Hørsholm, Denmark) were performed in a random sample of 457 subjects, of whom 273 men (mean age 35.3 +/- 11.0 years) and 184 women (mean age 37.9 +/- 9.5 years). Statistical analysis was performed using the chi-square test, regression analysis and discriminant analysis. RESULTS: When the mean wheal diameter of >/= 3 mm was considered positive (+ SPT), the correlation between + SPT and + sIgE was 0.47 for DP (P
The influence of age and sex on the induction of chronic EAMG was analysed. Aged male rats, immunized with Torpedo acetylcholine receptor (tAChR), showed no clinical signs of disease or AChR loss. Immunization of young male Brown Norway (BN) rats resulted in both clinical signs of disease and 65% AChR loss. In contrast, both young and aged female BN rats showed comparable AChR loss (58% and 50%, respectively), although aged female rats did not develop clinical signs of disease. Differences in antibody titres, isotype distribution, fine specificity or complement activation could not account for the observed resistance. These results suggest that resistance against EAMG in aged rats is due to resistance of the AChR against antibody-mediated degradation, or to mechanisms able to compensate for AChR loss.
Beta-lactam drugs can induce allergic immune responses due to their antigenic determinants, promoting IgE-binding and anaphylactic reactions to penicillin. We report a case of a 44-year-old woman who experienced several severe systemic reactions after being exposed directly or indirectly to penicillin. An anaphylactic shock occurred after anal installation of her daughter's urine, who had been treated with penicillin. Skin testing revealed immediate type reactions to major and minor determinants of penicillin indicating an IgE-mediated sensitization. In vitro tests showed elevated levels of penicillin specific IgE. Clinical features, difficulties in taking history and test options for patients with IgE-mediated sensitizations are briefly reviewed in the context of the presented case of unexpected reactions to penicillin due to an immediate type hypersensitivity.
Occupational exposure of susceptible humans to Campylobacter jejuni appears to result in resistance to disease. This is believed to be due to acquired protective immunity. To support this hypothesis the levels of C. jejuni-specific IgG and IgM antibodies were determined in sera from poultry abattoir workers. Such individuals are persistently exposed to C. jejuni, but apparently rarely acquire campylobacteriosis. Sera from 43 short-term workers (employed
To determine the utility of the anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibody (ASCA) ELISA test developed in Manitoba in 2001 in a population-wide sample referred from physicians across Manitoba in their investigation of patients with gastrointestinal symptoms.
Patients whose serum was referred for ASCA testing in 2001 and 2002 were eligible for the present study. ELISA was performed by a technologist, blind to patient diagnoses. A single investigator contacted physicians to facilitate chart review. Data collected included demographics, final diagnoses and tests used to substantiate the final diagnosis.
Of 482 subjects identified, 410 charts were available for review and 29 of those were unavailable for follow-up or had incomplete charts. The present study population included Crohn's disease (CD, n=114), ulcerative colitis (n=74), indeterminate colitis (n=31), celiac disease (n=9), irritable bowel syndrome (n=75), other diagnoses (n=33) and no disease (n=45). ASCA had a sensitivity of 37% (95% CI 27.8 to 46.8) and specificity of 97% (95% CI 93.8 to 98.6) for diagnosing CD and an odds ratio for a diagnosis of CD of 18.4 (95% CI 8.2 to 41.3). The 47 ASCA-positive patients included the following diagnoses: CD=39, ulcerative colitis=3, indeterminate colitis=1, celiac disease=3 and no disease=1. The likelihood of having an inflammatory disease if ASCA is positive was nearly 40-fold.
A positive ASCA test using this assay nearly clinches a diagnosis of some form of inflammatory intestinal disease, which is highly likely to be CD. In symptomatic patients, a positive ASCA test should encourage the clinician to pursue further investigations.
BACKGROUND: Asthma has been reported to be rare among Inuits, but so far total and specific IgE levels have never been determined in arctic populations. OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of atopy in children living in an arctic environment, and to examine whether atopy and total IgE levels were associated with parental place of birth, as a measure of ethnicity, and travel history. MATERIAL AND METHODS: All schoolchildren in Sisimiut, a community on the West coast of Greenland, were screened for atopy. Blood samples were analysed for total IgE and for specific IgE against inhalant and food allergens. Information on place of birth of children and their parents was obtained from national registries. Information on travel history was obtained from self-administered questionnaires. RESULTS: A total of 1031 schoolchildren aged 5 to 18 years had a blood sample drawn (85% of available children for the study). Of these, 151 (14.6%) children were sensitized to at least one inhalant allergen and 42 (4.1%) to at least one food allergen. Sensitization to grass was most common, whereas sensitization to mugwort, birch, animal-dander and house-dust mite was infrequent. Children whose parents were both born abroad had a higher risk of sensitization to inhalant allergens compared with children born of Greenlandic parents (OR = 8.6, 95% CI 2.8-27.1). Furthermore, children who had been abroad had a higher risk of sensitization towards pollen (OR = 1.6, 95% CI 1.0-2.5) and animal-dander (OR = 2.1, 95% CI 1.0-4.6) after adjustment for confounders. Both atopic and non-atopic children demonstrated high levels of total IgE (medians of 251 and 58 kU/L). CONCLUSIONS: Compared with European findings Greenlandic children have high levels of total IgE but a low prevalence of allergic sensitization towards inhalant allergens. This may be due to a low genetic susceptibility to atopy and less allergen exposure, as well as to living conditions in an arctic environment.
Autoantibodies against aromatic amino acid hydroxylases in patients with autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 1 target multiple antigenic determinants and reveal regulatory regions crucial for enzymatic activity.
Patients with autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 1 (APS-1) frequently have autoantibodies directed against the aromatic amino acid hydroxylases tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). We aimed to characterize these autoantibodies with regard to their antigenic determinants, their influence on enzymatic activity and their clinical associations. In particular, we wanted to compare autoantibodies against the two different isoforms of TPH, which display different tissue distribution. Using sera from 48 Scandinavian APS-1 patients we identified 36 patients (75%) with antibodies against one or more of these three enzymes. Antibodies against TPH1, but not TPH2, were associated with malabsorption in the whole Scandinavian cohort, while TH antibodies were associated with dental enamel hypoplasia in Norwegian patients. Subsequent experiments with selected patient sera indicated that while the C-terminal domain was the immunodominant part of TPH1, the epitopes of TPH2 and TH were mainly located in the N-terminal regulatory domains. We also identified a TPH1 specific epitope involved in antibody mediated inhibition of enzyme activity, a finding that provides new insight into the enzymatic mechanisms of the aromatic amino acid hydroxylases and knowledge about structural determinants of enzyme autoantigens. In conclusion, TPH1, TPH2 and TH all have unique antigenic properties in spite of their structural similarity.
BACKGROUND: Atopic children show increased expression and production of the Th2-associated cytokines IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, and IL-9 from PBMCs after stimulation with allergen, but it has previously not been clearly determined whether the Th2-cytokine production is restricted to the inhalant allergen the child is sensitized to, and whether perennial or seasonal allergens induce different cytokine responses. Our purpose was to determine whether in vitro Th2 cytokine production is specific to the sensitizing allergen, and to compare the cytokine responses to a perennial and a seasonal allergen in monosensitized and polysensitized children. METHODS: Using semiquantitative RT-PCR, we analyzed the expression of the cytokines IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, IL-9, IL-10, and IFN-gamma after stimulation of PBMCs with house-dust-mite (HDM) or ryegrass allergen. The cells were sampled from groups of 6-year-old children sensitized to either HDM (n=20) or ryegrass (n=24), or to both allergens (n=20), as well as from a nonatopic group (n=20). RESULTS: After stimulation with HDM allergen, PBMCs from children sensitized only to HDM expressed increased mRNA levels of the Th2 cytokines, but not of IL-10 and IFN-gamma, whereas ryegrass stimulation did not result in increased cytokine expression. PBMCs from children sensitized to HDM and ryegrass expressed increased Th2 cytokines after stimulation with either of the two allergens. In contrast, PBMCs from children sensitized only to ryegrass did not express increased levels after stimulation with either of the allergens. CONCLUSIONS: The expression of Th2 cytokines after in vitro stimulation of PBMCs from atopic children is specific to the sensitizing allergen, indicating that atopic status per se does not affect the type of T-cell response. In addition, T cells specific to seasonal allergens circulate in the blood out of season only if the child is concomitantly sensitized to a perennial allergen.
Farm environment in childhood may protect against sensitization, allergic rhinitis, and asthma.
Subjects were obtained from 10 667 Finnish first-year university students who responded to a questionnaire survey on IgE-mediated diseases. Two random samples were selected from 1631 respondents in Turku: subjects with asthma or wheezing, and subjects without asthmatic symptoms. A total of 296 subjects (72%) participated. Skin prick tests (SPT), measurements of IgE-antibodies, methacholine challenge, and bronchodilation tests were performed. Weighted occurrence of current asthma and sensitization among students from "childhood farm" and "childhood nonfarm" environments were analyzed.
Current asthma was found in 3.1% of subjects with childhood farm environment, and in 12.4% with nonfarm environment (odds ratio (OR) 0.22; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.07-0.70). There were fewer positive SPT to birch (8.3 vs. 24.2%, OR 0.28, 95% CI 0.07-1.15) and timothy pollen (12.6 vs. 30.3%, OR 0.33, 95% CI 0.09-1.20) among subjects with childhood farm environment, but more sensitization to house-dust mite (22.0 vs. 4.9%, OR 5.43, 95% CI 1.60-18.46). Sensitization to cat (RAST class >/= 3) was less common in subjects with farm compared to nonfarm environments in childhood (1.5 vs. 13.1%; OR 0.10, 95% CI 0.02-0.47).
Farm environment in childhood protects against adult asthma and sensitization-especially to cat-the most important asthma related allergen. In contrast, sensitization to house-dust mite was more common in farming subjects.
BACKGROUND: No adequate enteral sensitization models are available to study food allergy and the allergenicity of food proteins. To further validate an enteral brown Norway (BN) rat sensitization model under development, we studied specific protein recognition to determine whether a comparable pattern of proteins is recognized by the rat immune system and the human immune system. METHODS: The animals were exposed to either ovalbumin as a positive reference control, hen's egg-white-protein extract, or a cow's milk preparation by daily gavage dosing (0.5, 1, 2.5, 5, 10, or 15 mg protein per rat/day) for 9 weeks. No adjuvants were used during the sensitization studies. The specificities of antibodies against hen's egg-white proteins or cow's-milk proteins in sera from orally sensitized rats and food-allergic patients were studied and compared by immunoblotting. RESULTS: The IgG and IgE antibodies to hen's egg-white proteins and cow's-milk proteins present in sera from orally sensitized rats and food-allergic patients showed a comparable pattern of protein recognition. CONCLUSIONS: Upon daily intragastric exposure to food allergens, the specificities of the induced antibody responses in the BN rat resemble those found in food-allergic patients. These studies add further support to the hypothesis that the BN rat may provide a suitable animal model for food allergy research and research on the allergenicity of food proteins.