In the summer forest there are allergens and irritating substances that cause respiratory or cutaneous symptoms. Birch and alder pollen allergy is common in Finland. Pollens of other trees cause sensitization only sporadically. Spores of molds and mushrooms cause allergic reactions, but the means to study spore allergy are inadequate. Even edible mushrooms may cause allergic abdominal discomforts, and trehalose intolerance is supposed to be present in a small percentage of the population. Lichen allergens may bring about IgE-mediated reactions, contact allergy and photoallergic reactions.
BACKGROUND: An inverse association between tuberculin responses and atopy has been observed in Japanese children, indicating that BCG immunisation, subclinical exposure to Mycobacterium tuberculosis without clinical disease, or host characteristics may influence the T helper (Th) lymphocyte balance with decreased atopy as a result. This study was undertaken to determine whether tuberculin reactivity is inversely related to atopy in young adults vaccinated with BCG at the age of 14. METHODS: Men and women aged 20-44 years were tested using the adrenaline-Pirquet test with Norwegian produced synthetic medium tuberculin (n = 891). In addition, their serum total and specific IgE antibodies against mite, cat, timothy grass, mould and birch were measured. RESULTS: Of the 574 subjects with complete examinations, 64% had a positive adrenaline-Pirquet tuberculin test (> or =4 mm) and 27% exhibited IgE antibodies (> or =0.35 kU/l) to one or more of the five specific allergens. The geometric mean of total serum IgE in the population was 30.2 kU/l. Tuberculin reactivity and log IgE were not correlated (r = 0.043, p = 0.30). The mean tuberculin reactivity was 4.6 mm, 4.9 mm, and 5.0 mm in the lower, middle and upper tertile of IgE distribution (61 kU/l). The prevalence of atopy, as assessed by either the presence of any of the five specific IgE antibodies or by each specific IgE antibody separately, did not differ between subjects with a positive and those with a negative tuberculin test. These results persisted after adjustment for age, sex, and smoking status in multivariate logistic regression analyses. CONCLUSIONS: In this young adult population, BCG vaccinated at the age of 14, no significant relationship between a positive tuberculin reaction and atopy was observed. If a true relationship had been found, our study suggests that it may be limited to populations immunised in early childhood when a substantial modulation of the immune system can occur.
To evaluate the role of lymphocytes in the pathogenesis of allergic bronchoconstriction, we investigated whether allergic airway responses are adoptively transferred by antigen-primed lymphocytes in Brown Norway (BN) rats. Animals were actively sensitized to ovalbumin (OA) or sham sensitized, and 14 d later mononuclear cells (MNCs) were isolated from intrathoracic lymph nodes, passed through a nylon wool column, and transferred to naive syngeneic rats. Recipients were challenged with aerosolized OA or bovine serum albumin (BSA) (5% wt/vol) and analyzed for changes in lung resistance (RL), airway responsiveness to inhaled methacholine (MCh), and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells. Recipients of MNCs from sensitized rats responded to OA inhalation and exhibited sustained increases in RL throughout the 8-h observation period, but without usual early airway responses. Recipients of sham-sensitized MNCs or BSA-challenged recipients failed to respond to antigen challenge. At 32 h after OA exposure, airway responsiveness to MCh was increased in four of seven rats that had received sensitized MNCs (p = 0.035). BAL eosinophils increased at 32 h in the recipients of both sensitized and sham-sensitized MNCs. However, eosinophil numbers in BAL were inversely correlated with airway responsiveness in the recipients of sensitized MNCs (r = -0.788, p = 0.036). OA-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) was undetectable by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA) in recipient rats following adoptive transfer. In conclusion, allergic late airway responses (LAR) and cholinergic airway hyperresponsiveness, but not antigen-specific IgE and early responses, were adoptively transferred by antigen-primed lymphocytes in BN rats.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
The absence of IgE sensitization to allergen components in the presence of sensitization to the corresponding extract has been reported, but its clinical importance has not been studied.
To evaluate the clinical significance of IgE sensitization to three aeroallergen extracts and the corresponding components in relation to the development of respiratory disease.
A total of 467 adults participated in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) II and 302 in ECRHS III, 12 years later. IgE sensitization to allergen extract and components, exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and bronchial responsiveness to methacholine were measured in ECRHS II. Rhinitis and asthma symptoms were questionnaire-assessed in both ECRHS II and III.
A good overall correlation was found between IgE sensitization to extract and components for cat (r = 0.83), timothy (r = 0.96) and birch (r = 0.95). However, a substantial proportion of subjects tested IgE positive for cat and timothy allergen extracts but negative for the corresponding components (48% and 21%, respectively). Subjects sensitized to both cat extract and components had higher FeNO (P = 0.008) and more bronchial responsiveness (P = 0.002) than subjects sensitized only to the extract. Further, subjects sensitized to cat components were more likely to develop asthma (P = 0.005) and rhinitis (P = 0.007) than subjects sensitized only to cat extract.
Measurement of IgE sensitization to cat allergen components would seem to have a higher clinical value than extract-based measurement, as it related better to airway inflammation and responsiveness and had a higher prognostic value for the development of asthma and rhinitis over a 12-year period.
BACKGROUND: Conflicting results have provided support for two distinct and contradictory hypotheses: (i) allergy has a protective effect against cancer by enhanced immune surveillance, and (ii) allergy is associated with an increased risk of cancer by chronic immune stimulation. We therefore aimed us to perform a large epidemiological study with a defined allergic disease cohort. METHODS: During the years 1988-2000, 70 136 patients tested for total serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) and 57 815 tested with Phadiatop for diagnosing allergic disease at Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden, were linked with the Swedish Cancer Registry for a virtually complete follow up with regard to cancer. FINDINGS: The total number of observed cancers was normal in the total serum IgE-cohort; standardized incidence ratio (SIR) = 0.98 (95% CI: 0.92-1.04) and in the Phadiatop-cohort: SIR = 0.99 (0.92-1.06) independent of the level of IgE and positive or negative Phadiatop. Specific analysis was done for cancer of the lung, cervix, pancreas, lymphoma, and nonmelanoma skin cancer. None of these forms of cancer had increased risks. INTERPRETATION: The study does not support the hypothesis that allergy has a protective effect against cancer, nor does it support an increased risk.
Most, if not all, people are sensitized to mosquito bites in childhood. Cutaneous symptoms include immediate wheal-and-flare reactions and delayed bite papules, which tend to be more severe at the onset of the mosquito season. Systemic reactions to mosquito bites are, however, very rare. Recent immunoblot studies have demonstrated IgE antibodies to Aedes communis mosquito saliva 22 and 36 kD proteins. This confirms that specific sensitization occurs in man and indicates that mosquito-bite whealing is a classic type I allergic reaction. The delayed mosquito-bite papules seem to be cutaneous late-phase reactions mediated by eosinophils or they could also represent type IV lymphocyte-mediated immune reactions. People living in heavily infested areas such as Lapland frequently acquire tolerance to mosquito bites, and seem to have negligible levels of IgE but high amounts of IgG4 antisaliva antibodies. Desensitization treatment is a theoretical possibility but prophylactically given cetirizine, an H1-blocking antihistamine, has been shown to be helpful for people suffering from mosquito bites.
For the safety evaluation of genetically engineered crops, the potential allergenicity of the newly introduced protein(s) has become an important issue. There is, however, no universal and reliable test system for the evaluation of the allergic sensitizing ability of food proteins. Therefore, there is a growing interest in the development of animal models. This paper summarizes the results of a promising food allergy model developed in Brown Norway (BN) rats. The results demonstrate that BN rats can be sensitized via the relevant oral route of exposure. Daily gavage dosing of the animals with several food proteins, without the use of adjuvants, resulted in significant antigen-specific IgE responses. In addition, the profile of allergens recognized by the immune system of the BN rat, appeared comparable to the profile of allergens recognized by allergic humans. Besides oral sensitization, local and systemic immune-mediated effects, such as increased gastrointestinal permeability, decreased breathing frequency, and decreased blood pressure, could also be observed in the sensitized animals after an oral challenge. All together, these observations suggest that this BN rat model might provide a suitable animal model to study the allergenicity of food proteins in humans.
The introduction of novel proteins into foods carries a risk of eliciting allergic reactions in individuals sensitive to the introduced protein. Therefore, decision trees for evaluation of the risk have been developed, the latest being proposed by WHO/FAO early in 2001. Proteins developed using modern biotechnology and derived from fish are being considered for use in food and other applications, and since allergy to fish is well established, a potential risk from such proteins to susceptible human beings exists. The overall aim of the study was to investigate the potential allergenicity of an Ice Structuring Protein (ISP) originating from an arctic fish (the ocean pout, Macrozoarces americanus) using the newly developed decision tree proposed by FAO/WHO. The methods used were those proposed by FAO/WHO including amino acid sequence analysis for sequence similarity to known allergens, methods for assessing degradability under standardised conditions, assays for detection of specific IgE against the protein (Maxisorb RAST) and histamine release from human basophils. In the present paper we describe the serum screening phase of the study and discuss the overall application of the decision tree to the assessment of the potential allergenicity of ISP Type III. In an accompanying paper [Food Chem. Toxicol. 40 (2002) 965], we detail the specific methodology used for the sequence analysis and assessment of resistance to pepsin-catalysed proteolysis of this protein. The ISP showed no sequence similarity to known allergens nor was it stable to proteolytic degradation using standardised methods. Using sera from 20 patients with a well-documented clinical history of fish allergy, positive in skin prick tests to ocean pout, eel pout and eel were used, positive IgE-binding in vitro to extracts of the same fish was confirmed. The sera also elicited histamine release in vitro in the presence of the same extracts. The ISP was negative in all cases in the same experiments. Using the proposed decision tree, we demonstrated the safety of the ISP to patients already sensitised to fish, as well as to individuals potentially susceptible to producing IgE responses to proteins. Furthermore, the practicability of the new decision tree was confirmed.
Prevention of allergic diseases depends on early identification of clinical markers preceding such disorders. This study describes the natural course of sensitization as measured by skin prick test (SPT) and specific immunoglobulin E (S-IgE) and analyses the association between early sensitization patterns and subsequent allergic disease at 6 yr of age. In an ongoing population-based birth cohort study of 562 children, follow-up visits were performed at 0, 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, 36, and 72 months. Visits included an interview, physical examination, SPTs, and S-IgE measurements for 12 food and inhalant allergens. The frequency of S-IgE sensitization to > or = 1 inhalant allergen was constant from 0 to 6 months (9-10%), decreased at 12-18 months before increasing from 36 months onwards. S-IgE sensitization to at least one food allergen remained constant from 0 to 6 yr. SPT sensitization to food and inhalant allergens appeared from 3 and 12 months, respectively. Early food sensitization (S-IgE) between 3 and 18 months was found to be significantly (p