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1.  Skin Prick Test Reactivity to Common Aero and Food Allergens among Children with Allergy 
Background: The prevalence of allergic diseases has risen in the last decades. The objective of this study was to determine the common allergens in children via the skin prick test.
Methods: This cross-sectional study recruited 313 allergic children (4 months to 18 years old) referred to the Asthma and Allergy Clinic of Children’s Medical Center in Tehran. A questionnaire containing demographic data and patient history was completed. The Skin Prick Test (SPT) was selected according to the patients’ history of food and/or aeroallergen sensitivity.
Results: Patients (62.4% male, 37.6% female) with symptoms of asthma (n=141, 57.1%), allergic rhinitis (n=50, 20.4%), atopic dermatitis (n=29, 11.7%), and urticaria (n=20, 8.1%) were studied. Positive skin prick test to at least one allergen was 58.1%. The most prevalent allergens were tree mix (26%), Alternaria alternata (26%), weed mix (23.6%), Dermatophagoides farinae (22.9%), Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (22.9%), milk (21.7%), eggs (20%), and wheat flour (18.3%). Also, common allergens in the patients with different symptoms of allergic disorders were as follows: asthma (tree mix, weed mix, and Dermatophagoides farinae); allergic rhinitis (Dermatophagoides farinae, tree mix, and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus); and atopic dermatitis (Alternaria alternata, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, and cockroaches).
Conclusion: Identifying allergens in each area is necessary and has an important role in the diagnosis and management of allergic disorders and possibility of performing immunotherapy. In this study, the most common aeroallergens were tree mix, Alternaria alternata, and weed mix and also the most common food allergens were milk, eggs, and wheat. Considering these data, appropriate preventive strategies can decrease the cost and morbidity of therapeutic actions.
PMCID: PMC3895892  PMID: 24453391
Allergens; Children; Skin test
2.  223 Patterns of Skin Prick Test Positivity in 519 Patients with Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma in Mexico City 
The World Allergy Organization Journal  2012;5(Suppl 2):S90-S91.
Background
There are studies in Mexico and worldwide about the patterns of positivity of skin prick test and the most frecuently allergens were: Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (DPT), tree pollens (Ash/Oak in Mexico, Oak in U.S.A, Birch in Europe), grasses (Bermuda in Mexico, Timothy in U.S.A and Lolium in Europe) and thirdly cat ephitelium(CE). The reactivity to allergens was more common in males and the age groups in which there were positive skin test with the highest prevalence was from 5 to 15 years and 21 to 40 years.
Methods
The objective is to determine the pattern of skin prick test reactivity to aeroallergens in patients with rhinitis and asthma allergic in Mexico city, attending in the National Institute of Respiratory Disease (INER). This is a prospective, observational and longitudinal study based on data analysis of skin prick test results of individuals with clinical diagnosis of airway allergy (rhinitis/asthma). We use standardized allergens (alkalbello), detailed clinic history was collected in all cases. The statistical analysis was performed with the program SPSS14.
Results
We obtained a total of 519 patients with positive skin prick test between January 2009 and March 2011. This group comprised 47% females and 53% male, with a mean age of 19 years between 3 to 79 years. We have 253patients with allergic rhinitis (AR) and asthma (A), 173 with RA and 93 with A. 55% of the patients reacted to one allergen extract (AE) and 45% of the patients reacted with 2 or more AE. The most frequently indoor allergenswith positive skin prick test were Dpt (65.1%), Dermatophagoides farinae (Df) in 32.3%, CE(31.7%), Cockroach (11.5%). Among the outdoor allergens ash was positive in 23.3%, Ligustrum (18.8%) oak (17.7%) birch (13.6%) Western Juniperus (9.6%), Ulm (8.6%).
Conclusions
The most frequently positivity skin prick test were Dpt, Df, CE, Ash, Privet, Oak. The reactivity to allergens was more common in males, and there are 3 peaks of age of positivity on prick test (7–12 years, 25–29 years and 36 years).
doi:10.1097/01.WOX.0000411980.57309.c2
PMCID: PMC3512635
3.  Skin-Derived TSLP Triggers Progression from Epidermal-Barrier Defects to Asthma 
PLoS Biology  2009;7(5):e1000067.
A skin-derived cytokine with high systemic availability provides a mechanistic explanation for atopic march and highlights a potential therapeutic target for preventing the development of asthma among people with atopic dermatitis.
Asthma is a common allergic lung disease frequently affecting individuals with a prior history of eczema/atopic dermatitis (AD); however, the mechanism underlying the progression from AD to asthma (the so-called “atopic march”) is unclear. Here we show that, like humans with AD, mice with skin-barrier defects develop AD-like skin inflammation and are susceptible to allergic asthma. Furthermore, we show that thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), overexpressed by skin keratinocytes, is the systemic driver of this bronchial hyper-responsiveness. As an AD-like model, we used mice with keratinocyte-specific deletion of RBP-j that sustained high systemic levels of TSLP. Antigen-induced allergic challenge to the lung airways of RBP-j–deficient animals resulted in a severe asthmatic phenotype not seen in similarly treated wild-type littermates. Elimination of TSLP signaling in these animals blocked the atopic march, demonstrating that high serum TSLP levels were required to sensitize the lung to allergic inflammation. Furthermore, we analyzed outbred K14-TSLPtg mice that maintained high systemic levels of TSLP without developing any skin pathology. Importantly, epidermal-derived TSLP was sufficient to trigger the atopic march, sensitizing the lung airways to inhaled allergens in the absence of epicutaneous sensitization. Based on these findings, we propose that in addition to early treatment of the primary skin-barrier defects, selective inhibition of systemic TSLP may be the key to blocking the development of asthma in AD patients.
Author Summary
Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a common allergic skin inflammation that has a particularly high prevalence among children. Importantly, a large proportion of people suffering from eczema go on to develop asthma later in life. Although the susceptibility of eczema patients to asthma is well documented, the mechanism that mediates “atopic march”—the progression from eczema to asthma—is unclear. We used genetic engineering to generate mice with chronic skin-barrier defects and a subsequent eczema-like disorder. With these mice, we were able to investigate how skin-specific defects predisposed the lungs to allergic asthma. We identified thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), a cytokine that is secreted by barrier-defective skin into the systemic circulation, as the agent sensitizing the lung to allergens. We demonstrated that high systemic levels of skin-derived TSLP were both required and sufficient to render lung airways hypersensitive to allergens. Thus, these data suggest that early treatment of skin-barrier defects to prevent TSLP overexpression, and systemic inhibition of TSLP, may be crucial in preventing the progression from eczema to asthma.
doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1000067
PMCID: PMC2700555  PMID: 19557146
4.  Maternal age of menarche is not associated with asthma or atopy in prepubertal children 
Thorax  2005;60(10):810-813.
Background: Maternal sex hormones in pregnancy can theoretically influence the developing fetal immune system and modulate the subsequent development of atopic disorders. Early onset of menarche has been linked to increased oestrogen levels in adult women. A study was undertaken to examine the association between early onset menarche in pregnant women and asthma and atopic status of their children at 7 years of age.
Methods: The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) is a longitudinal birth cohort study in which pregnant women, resident in Avon (UK), were recruited on the basis of an expected date of delivery between 1 April 1991 and 31 December 1992. Maternal age at menarche was assessed from prenatal questionnaires administered to the women. Clinical outcomes in the children were based on mothers' responses to self-completion questionnaires and included asthma, eczema, and hay fever. The atopic status of the child was objectively assessed by skin prick tests to a panel of common aeroallergens at the age of 7 years. Analyses used multivariable logistic regression with a diverse range of possible confounders.
Results: Complete data were available on 5765 woman and child pairs. The prevalence of ever reported asthma to 7 years was 20.4%, eczema 58.6%, hay fever 12.1%, and atopy (defined as any positive (>2 mm weal) response) was present in 20.6%. There were no significant differences in mean age of menarche between mothers of children with and without each of the primary outcomes. Adjusted odds ratios (95% CI) for the latest age of menarche (16+ years) compared with the lowest (<12 years) reference group were 1.41 (1.00 to 1.99) for asthma, 0.98 (0.73 to 1.91) for eczema, 0.95 (0.62 to 1.44) for hay fever, and 0.98 (0.68 to 1.42) for atopy.
Conclusion: No consistent association was found between maternal age at menarche and asthma, eczema, hay fever or atopy in their children during early childhood.
doi:10.1136/thx.2004.037093
PMCID: PMC1747209  PMID: 16055625
5.  Developmental Profiles of Eczema, Wheeze, and Rhinitis: Two Population-Based Birth Cohort Studies 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(10):e1001748.
Using data from two population-based birth cohorts, Danielle Belgrave and colleagues examine the evidence for atopic march in developmental profiles for allergic disorders.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
The term “atopic march” has been used to imply a natural progression of a cascade of symptoms from eczema to asthma and rhinitis through childhood. We hypothesize that this expression does not adequately describe the natural history of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis during childhood. We propose that this paradigm arose from cross-sectional analyses of longitudinal studies, and may reflect a population pattern that may not predominate at the individual level.
Methods and Findings
Data from 9,801 children in two population-based birth cohorts were used to determine individual profiles of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis and whether the manifestations of these symptoms followed an atopic march pattern. Children were assessed at ages 1, 3, 5, 8, and 11 y. We used Bayesian machine learning methods to identify distinct latent classes based on individual profiles of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis. This approach allowed us to identify groups of children with similar patterns of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis over time.
Using a latent disease profile model, the data were best described by eight latent classes: no disease (51.3%), atopic march (3.1%), persistent eczema and wheeze (2.7%), persistent eczema with later-onset rhinitis (4.7%), persistent wheeze with later-onset rhinitis (5.7%), transient wheeze (7.7%), eczema only (15.3%), and rhinitis only (9.6%). When latent variable modelling was carried out separately for the two cohorts, similar results were obtained. Highly concordant patterns of sensitisation were associated with different profiles of eczema, rhinitis, and wheeze. The main limitation of this study was the difference in wording of the questions used to ascertain the presence of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis in the two cohorts.
Conclusions
The developmental profiles of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis are heterogeneous; only a small proportion of children (∼7% of those with symptoms) follow trajectory profiles resembling the atopic march.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Our immune system protects us from viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens by recognizing specific molecules on the invader's surface and initiating a sequence of events that culminates in the death of the pathogen. Sometimes, however, our immune system responds to harmless materials (allergens such as pollen) and triggers allergic, or atopic, symptoms. Common atopic symptoms include eczema (transient dry itchy patches on the skin), wheeze (high pitched whistling in the chest, a symptom of asthma), and rhinitis (sneezing or a runny nose in the absence of a cold or influenza). All these symptoms are very common during childhood, but recent epidemiological studies (examinations of the patterns and causes of diseases in a population) have revealed age-related changes in the proportions of children affected by each symptom. So, for example, eczema is more common in infants than in school-age children. These findings have led to the idea of “atopic march,” a natural progression of symptoms within individual children that starts with eczema, then progresses to wheeze and finally rhinitis.
Why Was This Study Done?
The concept of atopic march has led to the initiation of studies that aim to prevent the development of asthma in children who are thought to be at risk of asthma because they have eczema. Moreover, some guidelines recommend that clinicians tell parents that children with eczema may later develop asthma or rhinitis. However, because of the design of the epidemiological studies that support the concept of atopic march, children with eczema who later develop wheeze and rhinitis may actually belong to a distinct subgroup of children, rather than representing the typical progression of atopic diseases. It is important to know whether atopic march adequately describes the natural history of atopic diseases during childhood to avoid the imposition of unnecessary strategies on children with eczema to prevent asthma. Here, the researchers use machine learning techniques to model the developmental profiles of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis during childhood in two large population-based birth cohorts by taking into account time-related (longitudinal) changes in symptoms within individuals. Machine learning is a data-driven approach that identifies structure within the data (for example, a typical progression of symptoms) using unsupervised learning of latent variables (variables that are not directly measured but are inferred from other observable characteristics).
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used data from two UK birth cohorts—the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) and the Manchester Asthma and Allergy Study (MAAS)—for their study (9,801 children in total). Both studies enrolled children at birth and monitored their subsequent health at regular review clinics. At each review clinic, information about eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis was collected from the parents using validated questionnaires. The researchers then used these data and machine learning methods to identify groups of children with similar patterns of onset of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis over the first 11 years of life. Using a type of statistical model called a latent disease profile model, the researchers found that the data were best described by eight latent classes—no disease (51.3% of the children), atopic march (3.1%), persistent eczema and wheeze (2.7%), persistent eczema with later-onset rhinitis (4.7%), persistent wheeze with later-onset rhinitis (5.7%), transient wheeze (7.7%), eczema only (15.3%), and rhinitis only (9.6%).
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that, in two large UK birth cohorts, the developmental profiles of eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis were heterogeneous. Most notably, the progression of symptoms fitted the profile of atopic march in fewer than 7% of children with symptoms. The researchers acknowledge that their study has some limitations. For example, small differences in the wording of the questions used to gather information from parents about their children's symptoms in the two cohorts may have slightly affected the findings. However, based on their findings, the researchers propose that, because eczema, wheeze, and rhinitis are common, these symptoms often coexist in individuals, but as independent entities rather than as a linked progression of symptoms. Thus, using eczema as an indicator of subsequent asthma risk and assigning “preventative” measures to children with eczema is flawed. Importantly, clinicians need to understand the heterogeneity of patterns of atopic diseases in children and to communicate this variability to parents when advising them about the development and resolution of atopic symptoms in their children.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001748.
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about eczema (including personal stories), asthma (including personal stories), and rhinitis
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases provides information about atopic diseases
The UK not-for-profit organization Allergy UK provides information about atopic diseases and a description of the atopic march
MedlinePlus encyclopedia has pages on eczema, wheezing, and rhinitis (in English and Spanish)
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources about allergies, eczema, and asthma (in English and Spanish)
Information about ALSPAC and MAAS is available
Wikipedia has pages on machine learning and latent disease profile models (note that Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; available in several languages)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001748
PMCID: PMC4204810  PMID: 25335105
6.  Filaggrin gene defects and risk of developing allergic sensitisation and allergic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis 
Objective To investigate whether filaggrin gene defects, present in up to one in 10 western Europeans and North Americans, increase the risk of developing allergic sensitisation and allergic disorders.
Design Systematic review and meta-analysis.
Data sources Medline, Embase, ISI Science Citation Index, BIOSIS, ISI Web of Knowledge, UK National Research Register, clinical trials.gov, the Index to Theses and Digital dissertations, and grey literature using OpenSIGLE.
Study selection Genetic epidemiological studies (family, case-control) of the association between filaggrin gene defects and allergic sensitisation or allergic disorders.
Data extraction Atopic eczema or dermatitis, food allergy, asthma, allergic rhinitis, and anaphylaxis, along with relevant immunological variables relating to the risk of allergic sensitisation as assessed by either positive skin prick testing or increased levels of allergen specific IgE.
Data synthesis 24 studies were included. The odds of developing allergic sensitisation was 1.91 (95% confidence interval 1.44 to 2.54) in the family studies and 1.57 (1.20 to 2.07) in the case-control studies. The odds of developing atopic eczema was 1.99 (1.72 to 2.31) in the family studies and 4.78 (3.31 to 6.92) in the case-control studies. Three studies investigated the association between filaggrin gene mutations and allergic rhinitis in people without atopic eczema: overall odds ratio 1.78 (1.16 to 2.73). The four studies that investigated the association between filaggrin gene mutations and allergic rhinitis in people with atopic eczema reported a significant association: pooled odds ratio from case-control studies 2.84 (2.08 to 3.88). An overall odds ratio for the association between filaggrin gene mutations and asthma in people with atopic eczema was 2.79 (1.77 to 4.41) in case-control studies and 2.30 (1.66 to 3.18) in family studies. None of the studies that investigated filaggrin gene mutations and asthma in people without atopic eczema reported a significant association; overall odds ratio was 1.30 (0.7 to 2.30) in the case-control studies. The funnel plots suggested that publication bias was unlikely to be an explanation for these findings. No studies investigated the association between filaggrin gene mutations and food allergy or anaphylaxis.
Conclusions Filaggrin gene defects increase the risk of developing allergic sensitisation, atopic eczema, and allergic rhinitis. Evidence of the relation between filaggrin gene mutations and atopic eczema was strong, with people manifesting increased severity and persistence of disease. Filaggrin gene mutations also increased the risk of asthma in people with atopic eczema. Restoring skin barrier function in filaggrin deficient people in early life may help prevent the development of sensitisation and halt the development and progression of allergic disease.
doi:10.1136/bmj.b2433
PMCID: PMC2714678  PMID: 19589816
7.  Anthelminthic treatment during pregnancy is associated with increased risk of infantile eczema: randomised-controlled trial results 
Pediatric Allergy and Immunology  2011;22(3):305-312.
Background
Allergy is commoner in developed than in developing countries. Chronic worm infections show inverse associations with allergy, and prenatal exposures may be critical to allergy risk.
Objective
To determine whether anthelminthic treatment during pregnancy increases the risk of allergy in infancy.
Methods
A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial on treatment in pregnancy with albendazole versus placebo and praziquantel versus placebo was conducted in Uganda, with a 2 × 2 factorial design; 2507 women were enrolled; infants’ allergy events were recorded prospectively. The main outcome was doctor-diagnosed infantile eczema.
Results
Worms were detected in 68% of women before treatment. Doctor-diagnosed infantile eczema incidence was 10.4/100 infant years. Maternal albendazole treatment was associated with a significantly increased risk of eczema [Cox HR (95% CI), p: 1.82 (1.26–2.64), 0.002]; this effect was slightly stronger among infants whose mothers had no albendazole-susceptible worms than among infants whose mothers had such worms, although this difference was not statistically significant. Praziquantel showed no effect overall but was associated with increased risk among infants of mothers with Schistosoma mansoni [2.65 (1.16–6.08), interaction p = 0.02]. In a sample of infants, skin prick test reactivity and allergen-specific IgE were both associated with doctor-diagnosed eczema, indicating atopic aetiology. Albendazole was also strongly associated with reported recurrent wheeze [1.58 (1.13–2.22), 0.008]; praziquantel showed no effect.
Conclusions
The detrimental effects of treatment suggest that exposure to maternal worm infections in utero may protect against eczema and wheeze in infancy. The results for albendazole are also consistent with a direct drug effect. Further studies are required to investigate mechanisms of these effects, possible benefits of worms or worm products in primary prevention of allergy, and the possibility that routine deworming during pregnancy may promote allergic disease in the offspring.
doi:10.1111/j.1399-3038.2010.01122.x
PMCID: PMC3130136  PMID: 21255083
albendazole; praziquantel; worms; infantile eczema; pregnancy; clinical trial
8.  Dietary sodium intake and the risk of airway hyperreactivity in a random adult population. 
Thorax  1994;49(9):875-880.
BACKGROUND--High dietary sodium intake has been identified as a potential cause of asthma and airway hyperreactivity. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that dietary sodium intake is an independent determinant of the risk of hyperreactivity in the general population, and to assess the role of atopy in the association between these factors. METHODS--Airway reactivity to methacholine, atopy, 24 hour urinary sodium excretion, and self-reported smoking and symptom history were measured in a random sample of 1702 adults aged 18-70 from an administrative district of Nottingham. Hyperreactivity was defined as a PD20FEV1 of 12.25 mumol or less, and atopy was defined quantitatively as the mean allergen skin weal response to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, cat fur, and grass pollen, and categorically as the occurrence of any allergen response 1 mm or greater than the saline control. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the independent relative odds of hyperreactivity, atopy, or symptoms in relation to sodium excretion in all 1702 subjects, and multiple linear regression to assess the independent relation between sodium excretion and mean allergen skin weal diameter, and the PD20 value amongst hyperreactive subjects. RESULTS--There was no relation between the relative odds of hyperreactivity to methacholine and 24 hour urinary sodium excretion, either before or after adjustment for age, smoking, allergen skin weal diameter, and sex, and similarly no relation if the analysis was restricted to men or women only. The relative odds of having at least one allergen skin test response 1 mm greater than the saline control were increased in relation to sodium excretion after adjustment for age, sex, and smoking by a ratio of 2.08 (95% CI 1.04 to 4.15) per log10 unit increase in sodium excretion, but there was no evidence of an association between sodium excretion and the occurrence of self-reported wheeze, hay fever, eczema, or asthma. There was no relation between 24 hour sodium excretion and the magnitude of the mean allergen skin weal response or the PD20 value. CONCLUSIONS--These findings do not support the hypothesis that a high dietary sodium intake is a risk factor for airway hyperreactivity or atopic disease in the general adult population.
PMCID: PMC475179  PMID: 7940426
9.  Severe Eczema in Infancy Can Predict Asthma Development. A Prospective Study to the Age of 10 Years 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e99609.
Background
Children with atopic eczema in infancy often develop allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma, but the term “atopic march” has been questioned as the relations between atopic disorders seem more complicated than one condition progressing into another.
Objective
In this prospective multicenter study we followed children with eczema from infancy to the age of 10 years focusing on sensitization to allergens, severity of eczema and development of allergic airway symptoms at 4.5 and 10 years of age.
Methods
On inclusion, 123 children were examined. Hanifin-Rajka criteria and SCORAD index were used to describe the eczema. Episodes of wheezing were registered, skin prick tests and IgE tests were conducted and questionnaires were filled out. Procedures were repeated at 4.5 and 10 years of age with additional examinations for ARC and asthma.
Results
94 out of 123 completed the entire study. High SCORAD points on inclusion were correlated with the risk of developing ARC, (B = 9.86, P = 0.01) and asthma, (B = 10.17, P = 0.01). For infants with eczema and wheezing at the first visit, the OR for developing asthma was 4.05(P = 0.01). ARC at 4.5 years of age resulted in an OR of 11.28(P = 0.00) for asthma development at 10 years.
Conclusion
This study indicates that infant eczema with high SCORAD points is associated with an increased risk of asthma at 10 years of age. Children with eczema and wheezing episodes during infancy are more likely to develop asthma than are infants with eczema alone. Eczema in infancy combined with early onset of ARC seems to indicate a more severe allergic disease, which often leads to asthma development. The progression from eczema in infancy to ARC at an early age and asthma later in childhood shown in this study supports the relevance of the term “atopic march”, at least in more severe allergic disease.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099609
PMCID: PMC4051764  PMID: 24914552
10.  Influence of dog ownership and high endotoxin on wheezing and atopy during infancy 
Background
Increased exposure to microbial products early in life may protect from development of atopic disorders in childhood. Few studies have examined the relationship of endotoxin exposure and pet ownership on atopy and wheezing during infancy.
Objective
Evaluate relationships among high endotoxin exposure, pet ownership, atopy, and wheezing in high-risk infants.
Methods
Infants (n = 532; mean age, 12.5 ± 0.8 months) with at least 1 parent with confirmed atopy were recruited. A complete medical history and skin prick testing to foods and aeroallergens were performed at age 1 year. House dust samples were analyzed for endotoxin.
Results
Prevalences of wheezing were not independently associated with dog or cat ownership or endotoxin levels. Percutaneous reactivity to at least 1 allergen was observed in 28.6% of infants. Univariate analyses showed significant associations of any wheezing, recurrent wheezing, and recurrent wheezing with an event with daycare attendance, number of siblings, respiratory infections, maternal smoking, and history of parental asthma. Logistic regression adjusting for the latter variables showed that recurrent wheezing (odds ratio, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.1–0.9) as well as 2 other wheeze outcomes were significantly reduced in homes with high endotoxin exposure in the presence of 2 or more dogs.
Conclusion
Pet ownership or endotoxin did not independently modify aeroallergen sensitization or wheezing during infancy. However, high endotoxin exposure in the presence of multiple dogs was associated with reduced wheezing in infants. Clinical implications: A home environment with many dogs and high levels of endotoxin may be conducive to reduced wheezing in infancy.
doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2006.08.008
PMCID: PMC2233938  PMID: 17157656
Endotoxin; birth cohort; wheeze; house dust; pet ownership
11.  293 Sensitization of Severe Allergic Asthma Patients 
Background
The prevalence of asthma is high, the worldwide average being estimated at 10%, which makes it a public health problem. Many studies show a clear relationship between asthma and specific allergens. With sensitization to aeroallergens identified as a dominant risk factor for asthma.
Objective
The present study of asthma reports the allergic sensitization of patients with severe persistent asthma followed in the Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy of University of São Paulo Medical School.
Methods
A total of 61 patients with severe persistent asthma defined according to the criteria of the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) were enrolled. Total IgE levels (IU/mL) were measured in serum and levels up to 120 IU/mL were considered within normal range. A battery of 7 aeroantigens (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Blomia tropicalis, Aspergillus fumigatus, Penicillium nonatum, Lolium perenne, Felis domesticus, Canis familiaris, Blatela germanica and Periplaneta americana) was used in skin prick tests (SPTs), which were performed in each subject, on the volar side of the forearm. Histamine hydrochloride and normal saline solutions were used as positive and negative controls, respectively. The SPTs were read after 15 minutes and, a wheal at least 3 mm greater than the negative control was considered positive.
Results
The asthmatic patients had a mean age of 48 years and 75% were female. We found that mean total serum IgE levels were 518.4 IU/mL (between 17 and 4720 UI/mL). SPTs positivity was 91.8% for D pteronyssinus, 67.2% for Blomia tropicalis, 4.9% for P nonatum and A fumigatus, 6.5% L perene and Felis domesticus, 16.3% for Canis familiaris, 21.3% Blatela germanica, 13.1% for Periplaneta americana. Twelve patients were monosensitized and 23 patients were polysensitized to 3 or more allergens.
Conclusions
Most patients with severe allergic asthma were polysensitized, and dust mites, followed by cockroaches, were the main allergens.
doi:10.1097/01.WOX.0000412050.82446.f1
PMCID: PMC3512694
12.  Frequent Use of Paracetamol and Risk of Allergic Disease Among Women in an Ethiopian Population 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(7):e22551.
Introduction
The hypothesis that paracetamol might increase the risk of asthma and other allergic diseases have gained support from a range of independent studies. However, in studies based in developed countries, the possibility that paracetamol and asthma are associated through aspirin avoidance is difficult to exclude.
Objectives
To explore this hypothesis among women in a developing country, where we have previously reported aspirin avoidance to be rare.
Methods
In 2005/6 a population based cohort of 1065 pregnant women was established in Butajira, Ethiopia and baseline demographic data collected. At 3 years post birth, an interview-based questionnaire administered to 945 (94%) of these women collected data on asthma, eczema, and hay fever in the past 12 month, frequency of paracetamol use and potential confounders. Allergen skin tests to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and cockroach were also performed. The independent effects of paracetamol use on allergic outcomes were determined using multiple logistic regression analysis.
Findings
The prevalence of asthma, eczema and hay fever was 1.7%, 0.9% and 3.8% respectively; of any one of these conditions 5.5%, and of allergen sensitization 7.8%. Paracetamol use in the past month was reported by 29%, and associations of borderline significance were seen for eczema (adjusted OR (95% CI) = 8.51 (1.68 to 43.19) for 1–3 tablets and 2.19 (0.36 to 13.38) for ≥4 tablets, compared to no tablets in the past month; overall p = 0.055) and for ‘any allergic condition’ (adjusted OR (95% CI) = 2.73 (1.22 to 6.11) for 1–3 tablets and 1.35 (0.67 to 2.70) for ≥4 tablets compared to 0 in the past month; overall p = 0.071).
Conclusions
This study provides further cross-sectional evidence that paracetamol use increases the risk of allergic disease.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022551
PMCID: PMC3141069  PMID: 21811632
13.  235 Frequency of Patients With Clinical Manifestations of Allergic Rhinitis without Evidence of Systemic Atopy and Specific ige Sensitization 
Background
The diagnosis of allergic rhinitis (AR) is based on clinical manifestations and supported by a positive result for skin prick test (SPT) or serum specific immunoglobulin E (sIgE) antibodies to aeroallergens. Our objective was to investigate the frequency of patients with clinical manifestations of AR without evidence of specific IgE sensitization.
Methods
We evaluated patients with clinical manifestations suggestive of AR, other causes of rhinitis excluded, aged >5 years and who had total serum IgE and SPT or sIgE to aeroallergens measured. Skin tests were performed with extracts of Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Dermatophagoides farinae, Blomia tropicalis and Aspergillus fumigatus (FDA Allergenic) and total serum IgE and sIgE, for the same allergens, by ImmunoCAP (Phadia). Patients were subdivided into groups according to the results profile, and comparatively analyzed for association with asthma, severity of rhinitis and age.
Results
We evaluated 116 patients (64% female) aged between 5 and 79 years, including 34 children (29%) and 63 (54%) with bronchial asthma. The observed profiles and frequencies were: high IgE levels and positivity in the SPT or sIgE –55%; normal IgE levels and SPT or sIgE positivity –9%; high IgE levels and SPT and sIgE negativity –3 %; normal IgE levels and negativity in the SPT and sIgE –23%. Among patients with normal levels of total serum IgE and no evidence of specific IgE sensitization, 14% had asthma, while in the remainder the prevalence of asthma was 34% (P = 0.0009). There was no statistical significance in the influence of the rhinitis severity and age in the absence of markers of atopy and allergen sensitization.
Conclusions
We observed a significant number of patients with clinical manifestations of AR, without evidence of systemic atopy and specific IgE sensitization, indicating the importance of careful research of local allergic rhinitis, as well as other causes of chronic rhinitis. Local allergic rhinitis appears to be less frequent in patients with rhinitis and asthma. The observation of 13% of patients with elevated levels of total IgE without specific sensitization implies the possibility of sensitization to aeroallergens which were not investigated, such as occupational allergens.
doi:10.1097/01.WOX.0000411992.25922.6b
PMCID: PMC3513054
14.  570 Atopy Patch Test to Aeroallergens Extracts is Useful In Allergic Diseases Diagnosis When Skin Prick Test is Negative 
The World Allergy Organization Journal  2012;5(Suppl 2):S197-S198.
Background
The atopic diseases are generally diagnosed by performing skin prick tests (SPTs) to different aeroallergens. However, when this study results negative, it is possible to perform atopy patch test (APT). This technique has been introduced to evaluate sensitization to aeroallergens in patients with atopic eczema dermatitis syndrome. Nevertheless, its role in other allergic diseases has not been proved. Objective: Evaluate aeroallergens response using skin prick test (SPT) and atopy patch test (APT) in patients with allergic diseases.
Methods
Retrospective cohort study of individuals who performed SPT and APT as part of allergic diseases study. The study subjects were patch and skin prick tested to house dust mite (Dermatophagoides), trees, grass and fungi mix, cat and dog dander, among others. The tests were performed at the respiratory allergic disease center of Santa Maria Clinic in Santiago, Chile, between January 2010 and April 2011.
Results
Fifty-five patients were included, 18 (33%) males and 37 (67%) females, median age 6 years (range from 3 months to 62 years), with the following diagnosis: atopic dermatitis syndrome (60%), allergic rhinitis (58%), contact allergic dermatitis (16%), asthma (9%), recurrent bronchial obstructive syndrome (7%), allergic rhinoconjuctivitis (4%), chronic cough (4%), recurrent acute otitis media (2%) and recurrent laryngitis (2%). They underwent usual SPTs and APTs with multiple aeroallergens extracts. Of the 55 patients, 22 showed a positive SPT and 32 a positive APT; in 14 (25%) both, SPT and APT were positive. In 8 (15%) the SPT was positive and APT negative, while in 18 (33%) the SPT was negative, but the APT positive. Fifteen (27%) were negative to both tests.
Conclusions
Our results show that APT might be a useful diagnosis test in patients with allergic diseases and that its routine use can improve their diagnosis.
doi:10.1097/01.WOX.0000411685.59193.20
PMCID: PMC3513076
15.  Asthma, allergy, and atopy in three south-east Asian populations. 
Thorax  1994;49(12):1205-1210.
BACKGROUND--Whilst many recent reports have suggested a rise in the prevalence of asthma and allergic disease in Western countries, little is known about the epidemiology of these common conditions in south-east Asia. This study compared the prevalence of asthma and allergic disease amongst secondary school students in three south-east Asian populations--Hong Kong, Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, and San Bu in China--and investigated the associations with atopy and family history. METHODS--Secondary school students were given standard questionnaires on respiratory and allergic symptoms for completion by parents with response rates of 89.2% in Hong Kong (611 male, 451 female; mean (SD) age = 13.9 (1.8 years), 87.6% in Kota Kinabalu (134 male, 275 female; 15.5 (2.1) years), and 98.6% in San Bu (492 male, 245 female; 16.4 (1.8) years). Skin tests were performed in a subsample of students to determine atopic status. RESULTS--The respective prevalence (and 95% CI) for hayfever, eczema, and wheeze or asthma were 15.7% (13.5, 17.9), 20.1% (17.7, 22.5), 11.6% (9.3, 13.9) in Hong Kong, 11.2% (8.2, 14.3), 7.6% (5.0, 10.1), 8.2% (5.5, 10.9) in Kota Kinabalu, and 2.1% (1.2, 3.1), 7.2% (5.4, 9.1), 1.9% (0.7, 3.1) in San Bu. Atopy was common and was present in 49.0-63.9% of subjects in the three populations. Dust mite and cockroach were the commonest allergens that gave positive reactions in 42.8-60.5% and 25.7-35.9% of students respectively. A higher proportion of students in Hong Kong had severe degree of reactivity on skin test than the other two populations. Family history was associated with asthma and allergic symptoms in the three populations conferring a 3-80-fold increase in risk to family members and was a stronger predictor for asthma and allergy than atopy. CONCLUSIONS--Prevalence of asthma and allergic disease is low compared with Western countries, but considerable differences exist between the three south-east Asian populations despite similar rates of atopy. Asthma and allergic disease are more strongly associated with family history than atopy, which suggests that genetic and environmental factors common to the family, other than aeroallergen sensitisation, are important in the pathogenesis of asthma and allergy in the region.
PMCID: PMC475324  PMID: 7878553
16.  Risk factors for non-atopic asthma/wheeze in children and adolescents: a systematic review 
Background
The study of non-atopic asthma/wheeze in children separately from atopic asthma is relatively recent. Studies have focused on single risk factors and had inconsistent findings.
Objective
To review evidence on factors associated with non-atopic asthma/wheeze in children and adolescents.
Methods
A review of studies of risk factors for non-atopic asthma/wheeze which had a non-asthmatic comparison group, and assessed atopy by skin-prick test or allergen-specific IgE.
Results
Studies of non-atopic asthma/wheeze used a wide diversity of definitions of asthma/wheeze, comparison groups and methods to assess atopy. Among 30 risk factors evaluated in the 43 studies only 3 (family history of asthma/rhinitis/eczema, dampness/mold in the household, and lower respiratory tract infections in childhood) showed consistent associations with non-atopic asthma/wheeze. No or limited period of breastfeeding was less consistently associated with non-atopic asthma/wheeze. The few studies examining the effects of overweight/obesity and psychological/social factors showed consistent associations. We used a novel graphical presentation of different risk factors for non-atopic asthma/wheeze, allowing a more complete perception of the complex pattern of effects.
Conclusions
More research using standardized methodology is needed on the causes of non-atopic asthma.
doi:10.1186/1742-7622-11-5
PMCID: PMC4068161  PMID: 24963333
Non-atopic asthma; Non-atopic wheeze; Risk factors; Mould; Respiratory infections
17.  Maternal hookworm modifies risk factors for childhood eczema: results from a birth cohort in Uganda 
Pediatric Allergy and Immunology  2014;25(5):481-488.
Background
Worms may protect against allergy. Early-life worm exposure may be critical, but this has not been fully investigated.
Objectives
To investigate whether worms in pregnancy and in early childhood are associated with childhood eczema incidence.
Methods
The Entebbe Mother and Baby Study, an anthelminthic treatment trial, enrolled pregnant women between 2003 and 2005 in Uganda. Mothers were investigated for worms during pregnancy and children annually. Eczema was doctor-diagnosed from birth to age five years. A planned observational analysis was conducted within the trial cohort to investigate associations between worms and eczema.
Results
Data for 2345 live-born children were analysed. Hookworm was the most prevalent maternal worm (45%). Childhood worms were less prevalent. Eczema incidence was 4.68/100 person-years. Maternal hookworm was associated with reduced eczema incidence [adjusted hazard ratio (95% confidence interval), p-value: 0.71(0.51–0.99), 0.04] and modified effects of known risk factors for eczema: Dermatophagoides-specific IgE in children was positively associated with eczema incidence if the mother had no hookworm [2.72(1.11–6.63), 0.03], but not if the mother had hookworm [0.41(0.10–1.69), 0.22], interaction p-value = 0.03. Similar interactions were seen for maternal history of eczema {[2.87(1.31–6.27, 0.008) vs. [0.73(0.23–2.30), 0.60], interaction p-value = 0.05}, female gender {[1.82(1.22–2.73), 0.004 vs. [0.96(0.60–1.53), 0.87], interaction p-value = 0.04} and allergen-specific IgE. ChildhoodTrichuris trichiura and hookworm were inversely associated with eczema.
Conclusions
Maternal hookworm modifies effects of known risk factors for eczema. Mechanisms by which early-life worm exposures influence allergy need investigation. Worms or worm products, and intervention during pregnancy have potential for primary prevention of allergy.
doi:10.1111/pai.12251
PMCID: PMC4312885  PMID: 25171741
birth cohort; children; eczema; effect modification; hookworm; IgE; incidence; pregnancy; skin prick test; Uganda
18.  574 Prevalence Allergic Diseases and Allergic Sensitization among Urban Office Workers as Compared with a Forest Service Workers 
Background
Asthma, allergic rhinitis (AR), and atopic dermatitis (AD) are the most prevalent allergic diseases and number of studies has shown an increase in prevalence of both all over the world in recent years. Although little about the prevalence of asthma, AR, and AD in Korean adults. And the incident sensitization to common allergens in the setting of sensitization to an occupational allergen has not been described. Our aim was to determine the prevalence of living and working place in adults. And also, determines the sensitization to common allergens in subjects with incident sensitization to a work-related allergen.
Methods
We performed questionnaire survey and allergy skin prick test with 27 common inhalant allergens among 294 subjects (response rate, 94.9%, n = 279) age 19 to 54 years in Seoul and forest service workers. One hundred thirty four subjects were forest service workers and 145 subjects were urban office workers.
Results
The mean age was 33.7 ± 7.6 years. There were 141 man and 138 women. A history of asthma was noted in 3.8% and a history of AR was noted in 28.7%. And a history of AD was noted 21.3%. The each group of sensitization to allergen were 40.3% (urban) and 60.0% (forest), (P = 0.002). The most common allergen was mites. The sensitization to birch allergen were more high in urban office workers (P = 0.01).
Conclusions
The prevalence of allergic rhinitis in urban areas was high. And urban officer workers were also high with sensitization rate compare to forest workers. The interesting results were the pollen sensitization rate in urban areas showed higher tendencies. More research will be needed in futures.
doi:10.1097/01.WOX.0000411689.82064.01
PMCID: PMC3513058
19.  Probiotics in the prevention of eczema: a randomised controlled trial 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  2014;99(11):1014-1019.
Objective
To evaluate a multistrain, high-dose probiotic in the prevention of eczema.
Design
A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group trial.
Settings
Antenatal clinics, research clinic, children at home.
Patients
Pregnant women and their infants.
Interventions
Women from 36 weeks gestation and their infants to age 6 months received daily either the probiotic (Lactobacillus salivarius CUL61, Lactobacillus paracasei CUL08, Bifidobacterium animalis subspecies lactis CUL34 and Bifidobacterium bifidum CUL20; total of 1010 organisms/day) or matching placebo.
Main outcome measure
Diagnosed eczema at age 2 years. Infants were followed up by questionnaire. Clinical examination and skin prick tests to common allergens were done at 6 months and 2 years.
Results
The cumulative frequency of diagnosed eczema at 2 years was similar in the probiotic (73/214, 34.1%) and placebo arms (72/222, 32.4%; OR 1.07, 95% CI 0.72 to 1.6). Among the secondary outcomes, the cumulative frequency of skin prick sensitivity at 2 years was reduced in the probiotic (18/171; 10.5%) compared with the placebo arm (32/173; 18.5%; OR 0.52, 95% CI 0.28 to 0.98). The statistically significant differences between the arms were mainly in sensitisation to cow's milk and hen's egg proteins at 6 months. Atopic eczema occurred in 9/171 (5.3%) children in the probiotic arm and 21/173 (12.1%) in the placebo arm (OR 0.40, 95% CI 0.18 to 0.91).
Conclusions
The study did not provide evidence that the probiotic either prevented eczema during the study or reduced its severity. However, the probiotic seemed to prevent atopic sensitisation to common food allergens and so reduce the incidence of atopic eczema in early childhood.
Trial registration Number
ISRCTN26287422.
doi:10.1136/archdischild-2013-305799
PMCID: PMC4215350  PMID: 24947281
Allergy; Microbiology; Dermatology
20.  Toxocara Seropositivity, Atopy and Wheezing in Children Living in Poor Neighbourhoods in Urban Latin American 
Background
Toxocara canis and T. cati are parasites of dogs and cats, respectively, that infect humans and cause human toxocariasis. Infection may cause asthma-like symptoms but is often asymptomatic and is associated with a marked eosinophilia. Previous epidemiological studies indicate that T. canis infection may be associated with the development of atopy and asthma.
Objectives
To investigate possible associations between Toxocara spp. seropositivity and atopy and childhood wheezing in a population of children living in non-affluent areas of a large Latin American city.
Methods
The study was conducted in the city of Salvador, Brazil. Data on wheezing symptoms were collected by questionnaire, and atopy was measured by the presence of aeroallergen-specific IgE (sIgE). Skin prick test (SPT), total IgE and peripheral eosinophilia were measured. Toxocara seropositivity was determined by the presence of anti-Toxocara IgG antibodies, and intestinal helminth infections were determined by stool microscopy.
Findings
Children aged 4 to 11 years were studied, of whom 47% were seropositive for anti-Toxocara IgG; eosinophilia >4% occurred in 74.2% and >10% in 25.4%; 59.6% had elevated levels of total IgE; 36.8% had sIgE≥0.70 kU/L and 30.4% had SPT for at least one aeroallergen; 22.4% had current wheezing symptoms. Anti-Toxocara IgG was positively associated with elevated eosinophils counts, total IgE and the presence of specific IgE to aeroallergens but was inversely associated with skin prick test reactivity.
Conclusion
The prevalence of Toxocara seropositivity was high in the studied population of children living in conditions of poverty in urban Brazil. Toxocara infection, although associated with total IgE, sIgE and eosinophilia, may prevent the development of skin hypersensitivity to aeroallergens, possibly through increased polyclonal IgE and the induction of a modified Th2 immune reaction.
Author Summary
Toxocara canis and T. cati are roundworms found in dogs and cats, respectively, that can also infect humans and cause several clinical features, including asthma-like symptoms. Human infections with T. canis have been associated with an increased prevalence of atopy and asthma. In the present study, we investigated the associations between Toxocara seropositivity with eosinophilia, total IgE, specific IgE and skin prick test reactivity to aeroallergens, as well as atopic and non-atopic wheezing. Toxocara seropositivity was associated with elevated eosinophil counts and total and aeroallergen-specific IgE but was also associated with a decreased prevalence of skin prick test. Toxocara seropositivity was not associated with atopic wheezing. In conclusion, our data show that human toxocariasis, although associated with eosinophilia and raised levels of total and allergen-specific IgE, may play a role in the modulation of allergic effector responses in the skin.
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001886
PMCID: PMC3486906  PMID: 23133689
21.  Polymorphisms in the interleukin 13 and GATA binding protein 3 genes and the development of eczema during childhood 
The British journal of dermatology  2008;158(6):1315-1322.
Summary
Background
Atopic eczema is characterized by Th2-dominant immunity with the cytokine interleukin 13 and the transcription factor GATA binding protein 3 playing a critical role.
Objectives
We assessed the association of polymorphisms in the IL13 and GATA3 genes with childhood eczema.
Methods
A birth cohort (n = 1456) was established on the Isle of Wight in 1989 and followed at the ages of 1 (n = 1167), 2 (n = 1174), 4 (n = 1218) and 10 years (n = 1373) to determine the prevalence of allergic disease including eczema. At 4 and 10 years, skin prick testing was performed. Whole blood samples (n = 923) were obtained at the 10-year assessment, stored frozen, and genotyped. Five polymorphisms from IL13 and seven from GATA3 were genotyped for this analysis. Repeated measurement analyses were conducted for the occurrence of eczema at ages 1, 2, 4 and 10 years. All analyses were adjusted for maternal and paternal eczema, low birth weight (< 2500 g), breastfeeding ≥ 3 months and age.
Results
IL13 was not associated with childhood eczema. For GATA3, the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs2275806 (promoter region) showed an increased odds ratio for atopic eczema independent of whether the comparison group had a positive skin prick test. The SNP rs444762 (intron 3 region) was associated with atopic eczema in comparison with children without eczema. The increased relative risks remained significant after adjustment for multiple testing only for rs2275806 (P < 0Æ05).
Conclusions
A SNP in GATA3 is associated with atopic eczema. This finding highlights the importance of GATA3 as an immune-modulating gene in atopic eczema.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2133.2008.08565.x
PMCID: PMC2647137  PMID: 18410415
atopy; cytokines; eczema; genetics; single nucleotide polymorphisms
22.  Pharaoh Ant (Monomorium pharaonis): Newly Identified Important Inhalant Allergens in Bronchial Asthma 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2005;20(3):390-396.
The nonstinging house ant, Monomorium pharaonis (pharaoh ant), was recently identified as a cause of respiratory allergy. This study was performed to evaluate the extent of sensitization to pharaoh ant, and its clinical significance in asthmatic patients. We carried out skin prick tests in 318 patients with asthma. Specific IgE (sIgE) to pharaoh ant was measured by ELISA, and cross-reactivity was evaluated by ELISA inhibition tests. Bronchial provocation testing was performed using pharaoh ant extracts. Fifty-eight (18.2%) of 318 patients showed positive skin responses to pharaoh ant, and 25 (7.9%) had an isolated response to pharaoh ant. Positive skin responses to pharaoh ant were significantly higher among patients with non-atopic asthma than among those with atopic asthma (26.0% vs. 14.9%, p<0.05). There was significant correlation between sIgE level and skin responses to pharaoh ant (rho=0.552, p<0.001). The ELISA inhibition tests indicated that pharaoh ant allergens had various pattern of cross-reactivity to house dust mites and cockroaches. Bronchial provocation tests to pharaoh ant were conducted for 9 patients, and eight showed typical asthmatic reactions. In conclusion, pharaoh ant is an important source of aeroallergens, and it should be included in the skin test battery for screening the causative allergens in patients with asthma.
doi:10.3346/jkms.2005.20.3.390
PMCID: PMC2782192  PMID: 15953858
Asthma; Ants; Pharaoh Ant; Monomorium pharaonis; Formicidae; Allergens; Indoor Allergens
23.  The skin prick test – European standards 
Skin prick testing is an essential test procedure to confirm sensitization in IgE-mediated allergic disease in subjects with rhinoconjunctivitis, asthma, urticaria, anapylaxis, atopic eczema and food and drug allergy. This manuscript reviews the available evidence including Medline and Embase searches, abstracts of international allergy meetings and position papers from the world allergy literature. The recommended method of prick testing includes the appropriate use of specific allergen extracts, positive and negative controls, interpretation of the tests after 15 – 20 minutes of application, with a positive result defined as a wheal ≥3 mm diameter. A standard prick test panel for Europe for inhalants is proposed and includes hazel (Corylus avellana), alder (Alnus incana), birch (Betula alba), plane (Platanus vulgaris), cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), grass mix (Poa pratensis, Dactilis glomerata, Lolium perenne, Phleum pratense, Festuca pratensis, Helictotrichon pretense), Olive (Olea europaea), mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), Alternaria alternata (tenuis), Cladosporium herbarum, Aspergillus fumigatus, Parietaria, cat, dog, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Dermatophagoides farinae, and cockroach (Blatella germanica). Standardization of the skin test procedures and standard panels for different geographic locations are encouraged worldwide to permit better comparisons for diagnostic, clinical and research purposes.
doi:10.1186/2045-7022-3-3
PMCID: PMC3565910  PMID: 23369181
Sensitization; Inhalant allergens; Skin prick test panel; Aallergies; Type I allergy; Diagnostic test; Asthma
24.  Natural history of asthma in childhood--a birth cohort study. 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  1991;66(9):1050-1053.
A cohort of 67 babies at risk of developing atopic disorders was followed up prospectively for 11 years. Clinical assessment and skin prick allergen sensitivity testing were performed annually over the first five years. At 11 years the cohort was restudied, symptoms were assessed by questionnaire, and bronchial reactivity (BHR) to histamine was measured. On the basis of skin testing, 35 children were atopic and 32 remained non-atopic. The expression of atopy increased with age. The lifetime prevalence of eczema, wheeze, and hay fever were 46%, 63%, and 56% respectively. The yearly period prevalence of hay fever increased with age, that of eczema declined, while that for wheeze showed a bimodal distribution with a peak before the age of 2 years and a gradual increase thereafter. Of the 21 children who wheezed before their second birthday, most never wheezed again and did not show BHR at 11 years. Of the 21 children whose first wheezing was after 2 years of age, 17 were still wheezing at 11 years and 12 showed BHR. Of the children who wheezed before 2 years of age, 10 were or became atopic, compared with 20 of the 23 children who wheezed at 11 years. These findings suggest that childhood asthma is a heterogeneous condition with atopy being strongly associated with the persistence of wheeze.
PMCID: PMC1793050  PMID: 1929511
25.  Skin Test Reactivity to Indoor Allergens Correlates with Asthma Severity in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 
Background
There is increased emphasis on the role of indoor allergens in asthma.
Objective
To examine the spectrum of skin test reactivity (sensitization) to indoor allergens and its correlation with asthma severity in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Methods
Asthmatic patients referred to the allergy clinic at King Abdulaziz University Hospital (KAUH) in Jeddah were studied. Measures of clinical severity were adopted from national and international asthma guidelines. The degree of sensitization was assessed by the wheal size (positive ≥ 3 mm) from standard skin-prick tests for the following common indoor inhalant allergens: house dust mites (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus [Dp] and Dermatophagoides farinae [Df]), cat, and cockroach.
Results
Skin test results from 113 of 151 (74.8%) asthmatic patients were positive for one or more allergens. The patients' ages ranged between 9 and 63 years (mean, 30 ± 13 years), and females constituted 65.5%. The predominant asthma severity level was moderate persistent (55.8%), followed by mild persistent (33.6%). The prevalences of sensitization to indoor allergens were as follows: Dp, 87% (3-25 mm [mean, 7 mm]); Df, 84% (3-20 mm [mean, 7 mm]); cat, 44% (3-15 mm [mean, 6 mm]); and cockroach, 33% (3-12 mm [mean, 4 mm]). Higher asthma severity levels were significantly correlated with the number of allergens with positive sensitization (R = 0.3, p < .001) and with the degree of sensitization to house dust mites (Dp [degrees of freedom {df} = 16, p < .001] and Df [df = 17, p < .01]) but not to cat (df = 10, p < .24) or cockroach (df = 8, p < .36).
Conclusions
Immunoglobulin E-mediated skin test reactivity to indoor allergens, particularly to house dust mites, was common in asthmatic patients from Jeddah at KAUH. Increased sensitization was associated with higher levels of asthma severity, which is compatible with the literature. This emphasizes the importance of identifying sensitization to relevant indoor allergens in the clinical evaluation of asthmatic persons.
doi:10.1186/1710-1492-2-1-11
PMCID: PMC3231646  PMID: 20529215

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