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
Trimellitic anhydride (TMA) is a cause of asthma in man. Dose-dependent TMA-specific IgE, histopathology, and airway responses after sensitization by inhalation were examined in the Brown Norway rat. Rats were exposed to 0.04, 0.4, 4, or 40 mg/m3 TMA aerosol for 10 min, once a week, over 10 weeks. All lower exposures were, subsequently, rechallenged to 40 mg/m3 TMA aerosol. All rats received a sham exposure 1 week prior to the first TMA exposure. Following the sham exposure and weekly after each TMA exposure, TMA-specific IgE and both early-phase airway response (EAR) and late-phase airway response (LAR) were measured using enhanced pause (Penh). All rats sensitized by 40 mg/m3 TMA developed specific IgE, EAR, and LAR to one or more of the challenges to 40 mg/m3 TMA. TMA of 4 mg/m3 induced a much lower, but stable, specific IgE response. EAR and LAR were observed only after a 40 mg/m3 TMA rechallenge in this group, but it was much larger than that observed in the 40 mg/m3 TMA-sensitized and challenged group. Exposure-dependent histopathological changes noted included eosinophilic granulomatous interstitial pneumonia, perivascular eosinophil infiltrates, bronchial-associated lymphoid tissue hyperplasia, and peribronchiolar plasma cell infiltrates.
Multinational time-trend analyses of atopic disease have shown that the East-West gradients in prevalence are shrinking. We set out to clarify whether the disparities in the occurrence of atopy and atopic diseases in Finnish and Russian Karelia during the past 10 years have diminished and how the prevalence of atopy has evolved with successive years of birth.
Two surveys with identical methodology were performed in 1997/1998 and 2007. The study population comprised randomly selected adults, aged 25-54 years, from Finnish and Russian Karelia. Serum samples were collected for total and specific IgE measurements. Clinical data were obtained by questionnaires.
Sensitization rates to birch pollen increased from 7.8% to 14.8% (P
During the last decade, cases of the fish parasite Anisakis simplex infection and allergy in human have increased in countries with high fish consumption. Our aim was to perform an extended seroprevalence study of anti-IgE antibodies against this parasite in Norway, one of the high fish-consuming countries. At the Department of Immunology and Transfusion Medicine and the Laboratory of Clinical Biochemistry, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway, two main groups of anonymized serum samples were collected; the first (n = 993) from recently recruited blood donors (designated 'BDO') and the second (n = 414) from patient with total IgE levels =1000 kU/l (designated 'IGE+'). The sera were analysed by the ImmunoCAP(®) method for total IgE and IgE antibodies against A. simplex, house dust mite (HDM), shrimp, cod, crab, brine shrimp and shrimp tropomyosin. The A. simplex positive sera were further tested by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method, which uses 2 recombinant (r) major allergens, rAni s 1 and rAni s 7 as target antigens. SDS-PAGE and Western immunoblotting analyses were also performed. Whereas the prevalences by ImmunoCAP(®) were 0.4% and 16.2% in the BDO and IGE+ groups, respectively, analyses with recombinant allergens showed only 0.0% and 0.2%. Cross-reactivity and immunoblotting analyses suggested that most of the ImmunoCAP(®) positive sera were probably false-positive due to cross-sensitization to shrimp and HDM. However, positivity due to other A. simplex antigens should also be considered. Compared with other high fish-consuming countries, we observed a very low seroprevalence of anti-Anisakis IgE antibodies in a Norwegian population.
BACKGROUND: Several studies have consistently reported inverse associations between exposure to endotoxin in house dust and atopy. With regard to the association between house dust endotoxin and asthma, the results are inconsistent. OBJECTIVES: To study the association between house dust endotoxin levels and respiratory symptoms and atopy in populations from largely different countries. METHODS: Data were collected within the International Study on Asthma and Allergies in Childhood Phase Two, a multi-centre cross-sectional study of 840 children aged 9-12 years from six centres in the five countries of Albania, Italy, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Living room floor dust was collected and analysed for endotoxin. Health end-points and demographics were assessed by standardized questionnaires. Atopy was assessed by measurements of allergen-specific IgE against a panel of inhalant allergens. Associations between house dust endotoxin and health outcomes were analysed by logistic regression. Odds ratios (ORs) were presented for an overall interquartile range increase in exposure. RESULTS: Many associations between house dust endotoxin in living room floor dust and health outcomes varied between countries. Combined across countries, endotoxin levels were inversely associated with asthma ever [adjusted OR (95% confidence interval (CI)) 0.53 (0.29-0.96) for endotoxin levels per m(2) of living room floor] and current wheeze [adjusted OR (95% CI) 0.77 (0.64-0.93) for endotoxin levels per gram of living room floor dust]. There were inverse associations between endotoxin concentrations and atopy, which were statistically significant in unadjusted analyses, but not after adjustment for gender, parental allergies, cat and house dust mite allergens. No associations were found with dust quantity and between endotoxin exposure and hayfever. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest an inverse association between endotoxin levels in living room floor dust and asthma in children.
The prevalence of atopic disorders has increased in recent years. The pathogenesis is complex with genetic and environmental risk factors. Filaggrin loss-of-function mutations are common and associated with atopic disorders. We investigated whether the prevalence of filaggrin mutations increased in different birth cohorts in adults from the general population in Denmark.
Cross-sectional questionnaire and filaggrin gene mutation (R501X and 2282del4) data from 3335 18- to 69-year-old adults were available for analyses.
The effect of filaggrin mutations on the prevalence of atopic diseases, albeit not statistically significant, depended mostly on birth year for atopic dermatitis (AD). A nonsignificant increase in the prevalence of filaggrin mutations was noted across birth year groups reporting AD, with 12.9% in adults born in 1936-1949 and 19.0% born in 1976-1988.
If confirmed in other populations, the observed increase suggests that mutation carriers have been more susceptible to environmental changes accentuating the rise in AD prevalence.
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.
Atopy is the familial or personal propensity to develop immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies against common environmental allergens and is associated with high risk of allergic disease. It has been proposed that atopy may have effects on risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
We investigated the association of atopy with all-cause and cause-specific mortality.
We included a total of 14 849 individuals from five Danish population-based cohorts with measurements of atopy defined as serum-specific IgE positivity against inhalant allergens. Participants were followed by linkage to the Danish Registry of Causes of Death to obtain information on mortality status and cause of death (median follow-up time 11.3 years). The relative mortality risk was estimated by Cox regression and expressed as hazard ratios, HRs (95% confidence intervals, CIs).
A total of 1776 person died during follow-up. The mortality risk for atopics vs. non-atopics was: for all-cause mortality (HR = 1.03, 95% CI: 0.90, 1.17); neoplasms (HR = 0.86, 95% CI: 0.69, 1.06); endocrine, nutritional and metabolic disorders (HR = 1.48, 95% CI: 0.71, 3.08); mental and behavioural disorders (HR = 2.26, 95% CI: 1.18, 4.30); diseases of the nervous system (HR = 1.36, 95% CI: 0.65, 2.87); diseases of the circulatory system (HR = 1.00, 95% CI: 0.78, 1.29); diseases of the respiratory system (HR = 0.94, 95% CI: 0.55, 1.60); and diseases of the digestive system (HR = 1.75, 95% CI: 1.03, 2.98).
We found no statistically significant association between atopy and all-cause mortality. However, atopy was associated with a significantly higher risk of dying from mental and behavioural disorders and gastrointestinal diseases, particularly liver diseases, and a lower risk of dying from breast cancer, but these associations were not statistically significant when applying the Bonferroni adjusted significance level. Further studies are needed to confirm our findings.
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.