BACKGROUND—Recent years have seen increased levels of production and consumption of seafood, leading to more frequent reporting of allergic reactions in occupational and domestic settings. This review focuses on occupational allergy in the fishing and seafood processing industry.
REVIEW—Workers involved in either manual or automated processing of crabs, prawns, mussels, fish, and fishmeal production are commonly exposed to various constituents of seafood. Aerosolisation of seafood and cooking fluid during processing are potential occupational situations that could result in sensitisation through inhalation. There is great variability of aerosol exposure within and among various jobs with reported allergen concentrations ranging from 0.001 to 5.061(µg/m3). Occupational dermal exposure occurs as a result of unprotected handling of seafood and its byproducts. Occupational allergies have been reported in workers exposed to arthropods (crustaceans), molluscs, pisces (bony fish) and other agents derived from seafood. The prevalence of occupational asthma ranges from 7% to 36%, and for occupational protein contact dermatitis, from 3% to 11%. These health outcomes are mainly due to high molecular weight proteins in seafood causing an IgE mediated response. Cross reactivity between various species within a major seafood grouping also occurs. Limited evidence from dose-response relations indicate that development of symptoms is related to duration or intensity of exposure. The evidence for atopy as a risk factor for occupational sensitisation and asthma is supportive, whereas evidence for cigarette smoking is limited. Disruption of the intact skin barrier seems to be an important added risk factor for occupational protein contact dermatitis.
CONCLUSION—The range of allergic disease associated with occupational exposure to crab is well characterised, whereas for other seafood agents the evidence is somewhat limited. There is a need for further epidemiological studies to better characterise this risk. More detailed characterisation of specific protein antigens in aerosols and associated establishment of dose-response relations for acute and chronic exposure to seafood; the respective roles of skin contact and inhalational exposure in allergic sensitisation and cross reactivity; and the contribution of host associated factors in the development of occupational seafood allergies are important areas for future research.
Keywords: occupational seafood allergy; occupational asthma; protein contact dermatitis
Sensitization to fish or crustaceans requires intensive skin contact and/or airway exposition and therefore especially workers in the seafood processing industry may develop an occupational seafood allergy. However, even in jobs with limited direct exposure, individuals with atopic disposition not using appropriate skin protection are at risk for developing occupational seafood allergy which requires termination of employment.
Due to increasing workload and pressure of time a truck driver in charge of seafood deliveries for 10 years neglected preventive measures such as wearing protective cloths and gloves which resulted in increasing direct skin contact to seafood or mucosal contact to splashing storage ice. Despite his sensitization to fish and crustaceans he tried to remain in his job but with ongoing incidental allergen exposure his symptoms progressed from initial contact urticaria to generalized urticaria, anaphylaxis and finally occupational asthma.
Faulty knowledge and increased work load may impede time-consuming usage of preventive measures for occupational health and safety. In predisposed atopic individuals even minor allergen exposure during seafood distribution may lead to occupational seafood allergy. With ongoing allergen exposure progression to potentially life-threatening allergy symptoms may occur.
Asia is a populous and diverse region and potentially an important source of information on food allergy. This review aims to summarize the current literature on food allergy from this region, comparing it with western populations. A PubMed search using strategies "Food allergy AND Asia", "Food anaphylaxis AND Asia", and "Food allergy AND each Asian country" was made. Overall, 53 articles, published between 2005 and 2012, mainly written in English were reviewed. The overall prevalence of food allergy in Asia is somewhat comparable to the West. However, the types of food allergy differ in order of relevance. Shellfish is the most common food allergen from Asia, in part due to the abundance of seafood in this region. It is unique as symptoms vary widely from oral symptoms to anaphylaxis for the same individual. Data suggest that house dust mite tropomysin may be a primary sensitizer. In contrast, peanut prevalence in Asia is extremely low compared to the West for reasons not yet understood. Among young children and infants, egg and cow's milk allergy are the two most common food allergies, with prevalence data comparable to western populations. Differences also exist within Asia. Wheat allergy, though uncommon in most Asian countries, is the most common cause of anaphylaxis in Japan and Korea, and is increasing in Thailand. Current food allergy data from Asia highlights important differences between East and West, and within the Asian region. Further work is needed to provide insight on the environmental risk factors accounting for these differences.
Food Allergy; Asia; West; Epidemiology; Prevalence; Shellfish
This is a review on published data available on food allergy in East Asia and a discussion on the insights that it offers.
PubMed searches were made for terms food allergy and anaphylaxis, in combination with Asia.
There is a paucity of population-based prevalence studies on food allergy in Asia. Certain unique food allergens, such as buckwheat, chestnuts, chickpeas, bird's nest, and royal jelly, which are consumed extensively by certain Asian populations have resulted in clinical food allergy of little importance in other populations. Crustacean shellfish is of importance in this region relative to other common food allergens. The high consumption of these foods and possibly coupled with cross-reactive tropomyosins from dominant inhalant dust mite and cockroach allergens in this region may explain this phenomenon. In contrast, the prevalence of peanut allergy is relatively low in this region. The reasons for this difference are not apparent. However, this may be a reflection of the general reduced propensity in this region to allergic diseases as seen with asthma.
Further research on food allergy in Asia is warranted because it offers unique opportunities to further our understanding on the influence of population and environment.
food allergy; Asia; shellfish allergy; peanut allergy; buckwheat; bird's nest; chickpeas; royal jelly
Infections by virulent strains of Vibrio parahaemolyticus are frequently reported in Southeast Asia. This is due to the frequent seafood contamination by virulent strains. In this study conducted from 2008 to 2011, seafood like fish, shrimp, squid, crab, and molluscan shellfish were purchased from provinces in Thailand and three Southeast Asian countries and examined for the prevalence of three genetic markers of V. parahaemolyticus (species-specific gene: toxR gene, virulence genes: tdh and trh genes). An enrichment culture of seafood was examined for these markers using PCR methods. Molluscan shellfish showed a high frequency of contamination in Thailand. The shellfish harvested from the Gulf of Thailand were significantly more contaminated with virulence genes than those from the Andaman Sea. The seafood purchased from three Southeast Asian countries was positive for the three markers of V. parahaemolytcus at differing frequencies. The virulence markers (tdh and trh markers) were frequently detected in molluscan shellfish from Vietnam (17.9 and 8.0%, respectively), Malaysia (11.1 and 16.7%), and Indonesia (9.1 and 13.6%). These data suggest that the molluscan shellfish sold in Southeast Asian markets are highly contaminated with virulent strains of V. parahaemolyticus.
Vibrio parahaemolyticus; Southeast Asia; seafood; molluscan shellfish
Allergy is a serious and apparently increasing public health problem yet relatively little is known about the types of allergy seen in routine tertiary practice, including their spatial distribution, co-occurrence or referral patterns. This study reviewed referrals over an eleven year period to a regional allergy clinic that had a well defined geographical boundary. For those patients confirmed as having an allergy we explored: (i) differences over time and by demographics, (ii) types of allergy, (iii) co-occurrence, and (iv) spatial distributions.
Data were extracted from consultant letters to GPs, from September 1998 to September 2009, for patients confirmed as having an allergy. Other data included referral statistics and population data by postcode. Simple descriptive analysis was used to describe types of allergy. We calculated 11 year standardised morbidity ratios for postcode districts and checked for spatial clustering. We present maps showing 11 year rates by postcode, and 'difference' maps which try to separate referral effect from possible environmental effect.
Of 5778 referrals, 961 patients were diagnosed with an allergy. These were referred by a total of 672 different GPs. There were marked differences in referral patterns between GP practices and also individual GPs. The mean age of patients was 35 and there were considerably more females (65%) than males. Airborne allergies were the most frequent (623), and there were very high rates of co-occurrence of pollen, house dust mite, and animal hair allergies. Less than half (410) patients had a food allergy, with nuts, fruit, and seafood being the most common allergens. Fifteen percent (142) had both a food and a non-food allergy. Certain food allergies were more likely to co-occur, for example, patients allergic to dairy products were more likely to be allergic to egg.
There were age differences by types of allergy; people referred with food allergies were on average 5 years younger than those with other allergies, and those allergic to nuts were much younger (26 Vs 38) than those with other food allergies.
There was clear evidence for spatial clustering with marked clustering around the referral hospital. However, the geographical distribution varied between allergies; airborne (particularly pollen allergies) clustered in North Dartmoor and Exmoor, food allergies (particularly nut allergies) in the South Hams, and on small numbers, some indication of seafood allergy in the far south west of Cornwall and in the Padstow area.
This study shows marked geographical differences in allergy referrals which are likely to reflect a combination of environmental factors and GP referral patterns. The data suggest that GPs may benefit from education and ongoing decision support and be supported by public education on the nature of allergy. It suggests further research into what happens to patients with allergy where there has been low use of tertiary services and further research into cross-reactivity and co-occurrence, and spatial distribution of allergy.
Cow's milk allergy (CMA) is the most frequent food allergy in childhood; the trend of CMA is often characterized by a progressive improvement to achieve tolerance in the first 4 to 5 years of life.
It has been observed that specific IgE (sIgE) towards cow's milk proteins decrease when the age increases.
Although food allergy can be easily diagnosed, it is difficult to predict the outcome of the oral food challenge (OFC), that remains the gold standard in the diagnosis of food allergy, by allergometric tests.
We considered 44 children with CMA diagnosed through OFC who returned to our Allergy and Immunology Pediatric Department between January to December 2010 to evaluate the persistence of allergy or the achievement of tolerance.
On the basis of the history, we performed both allergometric skin tests and OFC in children that were still following a milk-free diet, whereas only allergometric skin tests those that had already undergone spontaneous introduction of milk protein at home without presenting symptoms.
The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the persistence of CMA or the acquisition of tolerance and the results of the end point prick test (EPT).
Results and Discussion
The OFC with cow's milk was performed on 30 children, 4 children were excluded because of a history of severe reactions to cow's milk, and 10 because they had spontaneously already taken milk food derivates at home without problems. 16/30 (53%) children showed clinical reactions and the challenge was stopped, 14/30 (47%) did not have any reaction.
Comparing the mean wheal diameter of every EPT's dilution between the group of allergic children and the tolerant ones, we obtained a significant difference (p < 0.05) for the first 4 dilutions.
We have also calculated sensitivity (SE), specificity (SP), the positive predictive value (PPV) and the negative predictive value (NPV) for each EPT dilution.
EPT is a safe and cheap test, easy to be executed and that could provide good prediction of the outcome of OFC; so it might be used to avoid OFC-induced anaphylaxis in children affected by CMA. It can also help avoiding dietetic restrictions in tolerant children who show sensitization towards cow's milk proteins.
Cow's milk proteins allergy; end point prick test; food oral challenge; tolerance
The incidence and prevalence of food allergies appear to be on the rise over the past 20 years. The most common foods to produce an IgE mediated hypersensitivity reaction in adults include peanut, tree nuts, and seafood. The increased use of spices in the U.S. has resulted in a growing number of patients presenting with hypersensitivity reactions.
We report a case of a 26 year-old-female who developed anaphylaxis after ingesting pink peppercorn seasoning. The patient was diagnosed with a tree nut allergy at 18 years of age when she developed hives, vomiting and throat closure after ingesting cashews. More recently, she had 3 similar anaphylactic episodes requiring epinephrine and emergency room care when she unknowingly consumed tree nuts contained in foods while dining out (veggie burger, pesto sauce, almonds in Indian food). She again had similar symptoms while eating a home prepared meal in which tree nuts were not included. Intramuscular epinephrine was administered and she was subsequently treated with oral steroids and antihistamines. It was later determined that a new peppercorn medley with pink peppercorns was used for seasoning. The reaction did not occur when she ate the same meal without pink peppercorn seasoning. Food specific IgE testing revealed an elevated IgE for cashews (2.52 kUA/L) and pistachios (2.85 kUA/L).
Pink peppercorn is not a true pepper, but dried roasted berries derived from Schinus terebinthifolius, a flowering plant in the family Anacardiaceae, native to South America. Common names include Brazilian Pepper, Rose Pepper and Christmasberry. Pink peppercorns are used as a spice to add a mild pepper-like taste to foods. It may potentially cause an irritating skin effect and has been associated with atopic dermatitis in canines. Interestingly, S. terebinthifolius is a member of the family Anacardiaceae, which include plants in the genus Anacardium (cashew nut) and Pistacia (pistachio). No allergens from this plant have been characterized but there is potential for cross-reactivity among different members of the Anacardiaceae family.
This is the first reported case of a patient developing anaphylaxis after pink peppercorn ingestion. Patients with tree nut allergies may need to be educated regarding this potential allergen.
Although much is known today about the prevalence of food allergy in the developed world, there are serious knowledge gaps about the prevalence rates of food allergy in developing countries. Food allergy affects up to 6% of children and 4% of adults. Symptoms include urticaria, gastrointestinal distress, failure to thrive, anaphylaxis and even death. There are over 170 foods known to provoke allergic reactions. Of these, the most common foods responsible for inducing 90% of reported allergic reactions are peanuts, milk, eggs, wheat, nuts (e.g., hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, etc.), soybeans, fish, crustaceans and shellfish. Current assumptions are that prevalence rates are lower in developing countries and emerging economies such as China, Brazil and India which raises questions about potential health impacts should the assumptions not be supported by evidence. As the health and social burden of food allergy can be significant, national and international efforts focusing on food security, food safety, food quality and dietary diversity need to pay special attention to the role of food allergy in order to avoid marginalization of sub-populations in the community. More importantly, as the major food sources used in international food aid programs are frequently priority allergens (e.g., peanut, milk, eggs, soybean, fish, wheat), and due to the similarities between food allergy and some malnutrition symptoms, it will be increasingly important to understand and assess the interplay between food allergy and nutrition in order to protect and identify appropriate sources of foods for sensitized sub-populations especially in economically disadvantaged countries and communities.
Food allergy; Food hypersensitivity; Nutrition; Developing countries
Previous studies have suggested an association between allergy and mood and anxiety disorders. Yet, extant work suffers from methodologic limitations.
To investigate the association between physician diagnosed allergy and DSM-IV mood and anxiety disorders in the general population, and to examine the role of allergy treatment in this relationship.
Data were drawn from the German National Health Interview and Examination Survey, a population-based, representative sample of 4,181 adults aged 18-65 in Germany. Allergy was diagnosed by physicians during medical examination and mental disorders were diagnosed using the CIDI.
Allergy was associated with an increased prevalence of any anxiety disorder (OR=1.3 (1.1, 1.6)), panic attacks (OR=1.6 (1.1, 2.1)), panic disorder (OR=1.6 (1.01, 2.3)), GAD (OR=1.8 (1.1, 3.0)), any mood disorder (OR= 1.4 (1.1, 1.7)), depression (OR=1.4 (1.1, 1.7)), and bipolar disorder (OR=2.0, (1.0, 3.8)). After adjusting for desensitization treatment status, these relationships were no longer significant. Those treated for allergy were significantly less likely to have any mood or anxiety disorder (OR=0.65 (0.4, 0.96)), compared to those untreated. All relationships were adjusted for age, sex and socioeconomic status (SES).
Conclusions & Clinical Relevance
These findings provide the first evidence of a link between physician diagnosed allergy and DSM-IV mood and anxiety disorders in a representative sample. Treatment for allergy may mitigate much of this relationship.
allergy; asthma; epidemiology; anxiety; depression; mood
To investigate the incidence and clinical characteristics of angioedema associated with the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) in an outpatient allergy department.
A retrospective review of medical records of new patients seen in an allergy clinic. Demographic and clinical data of patients with ACEI-induced angioedema were analyzed.
Nine (0.37%) out of 2,421 new patients attending the allergy clinic developed ACEI-associated angioedema. Enalapril was the drug most frequently incriminated. The onset of the angioedema was as early as after the first dose or as late as 2 years after beginning treatment. Six patients experienced life-threatening angioedema involving the tongue, oropharynx, or larynx, and two patients required transfer to the intensive care unit. One patient required a tracheostomy.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor treatment is often responsible for angioedema, especially involving the upper airways. Due to the high proportion of the population exposed to ACEIs and to the severity of this adverse effect, it is important that physicians consider ACEIs as possible inducers when evaluating patients with acute or recurrent angioedema.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors; angioedema; bradykinin; captopril; enalapril
Currently in the United Kingdom (UK), there is a mismatch between limited financial resources and the large proportion of patients with suspected allergies actually being referred to specialist allergy clinics. To better understand the case mix of patients being referred, we audited referrals to a regional allergy service over an 8 year period.
The main source of data was consultant letters to General Practitioners (GP) summarising the diagnosis of patients, archived from January 2002 to September 2009. Letters were reviewed, extracting the clinic date, doctor seen, gender, date of birth, postcode, GP, and diagnoses. Diagnoses were classified into seven groups and illustrative cases for each group noted.
Data from 2,028 new referrals with suspected allergy were analysed. The largest group of patients (43%) were diagnosed with a type I hypersensitivity. The other diagnostic groups were chronic idiopathic (spontaneous) urticaria (35%), suspected type I hypersensitivity but no allergen identified (8%), idiopathic (spontaneous) angioedema (8%), physical urticaria (2.5%), non-allergic symptoms (1.6%), type IV hypersensitivity (0.8%) and ACE inhibitor sensitivity (0.5%). Two thirds of patients seen were female with a higher percentage of female patients in the non type-I hypersensitivity group (71%) than the type 1 hypersensitivity (66%) (χ2 = 5.1, 1df, p = 0.024). The type 1 hypersensitivity patients were younger than other patients (38 Vs 46 years, t = -10.8, p < 0.001)
This study highlights the complexity of specialist allergy practice and the large proportion of patients referred with non-type I hypersensitivities, chronic idiopathic (spontaneous) urticaria being by far the largest group. Such information is critical to inform commissioning decisions, define referral pathways and in primary care education.
Allergy; Case-mix; Referrals; Audit
To investigate the association between fish and seafood intake and new-onset type 2 diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
This was a population-based prospective cohort (European Prospective Investigation of Cancer [EPIC]-Norfolk) study of men and women aged 40–79 years at baseline (1993–1997). Habitual fish and seafood intake (white fish, oily fish, fried fish, and shellfish) was assessed using a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire and categorized as less than one or one or more portions/week. During a median (interquartile range) follow-up of 10.2 (9.1–11.2) years, there were 725 incident diabetes cases among 21,984 eligible participants.
Higher total fish intake (one or more versus less than one portions/week) was associated with a significantly lower risk of diabetes (odds ratio [OR] 0.75 [95% CI 0.58–0.96]), in analyses adjusted for age, sex, family history of diabetes, education, smoking, physical activity, dietary factors (total energy intake, alcohol intake, and plasma vitamin C) and obesity (BMI and waist circumference). White fish and oily fish intakes were similarly inversely associated with diabetes risk, but the associations were not significant after adjustment for dietary factors (oily fish) or obesity (white fish). Fried fish was not significantly associated with diabetes risk. Consuming one or more portions/week of shellfish was associated with an increased risk of diabetes (OR 1.36 [1.02–1.81]) in adjusted analyses.
Total, white, and oily fish consumption may be beneficial for reducing risk of diabetes, reinforcing the public health message to consume fish regularly. Greater shellfish intake seems to be associated with an increased risk of diabetes, warranting further investigation into cooking methods and mechanisms.
To estimate the prevalence and clinical features of food allergy in children aged 0 to 2 years.
From January to February, 2009 and January to May, 2010, all well-infants and young children between the age of 0-2 years attending routine health visits at the Department of Primary Child Care, in Chongqing, Zhuhai and Hangzhou were invited to participate the study. Parents completed questionnaires and all children were skin prick tested to a panel of 10 foods (egg white, egg yolk, cow milk, soybean, peanut, wheat, fish, shrimp, orange and carrot). Based on the results of SPT and medical history, the subjects should undergo the suspected food elimination and oral food challenge under medical supervision. Food allergy was confirmed by the food challenge test.
There were 1,687 children recruited by the consent of their parents. Of 1,687 children approached, 1,604 (550 for Chongqing, 573 for Zhuhai and 481 for Hangzhou) fulfilled the study criteria for diagnosing food allergy. 100 children were confirmed to have challenge-proven food allergy in 3 cities (40 for Chongqing, 33 for Zhuhai and 27 for Hangzhou). The prevalence of food allergy in 0 to 2 years old children in Chongqing was 7.3%, in Zhuhai was 5.8% and in Hangzhou was 5.5%. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of food allergy in children under 2 years among the 3 cities, and the average prevalence for food allergy in children under 2 years was 6.2%. Egg was the most common allergen, followed by cow milk.
The prevalence of food allergy in 0 to 2 years old children in China was 5.5% to 7.3%. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of food allergy in children under 2 years among the 3 cities. Egg was the most common allergen, followed by cow milk.
Prawns and shrimp are a frequent cause of seafood allergy mediated by IgE antibodies. Penaeus monodon and Penaeus latisulcatus, commonly known as black tiger prawn and king prawn, respectively, are among the most frequently consumed prawns in Malaysia. The aim of this study was to identify the IgE-binding proteins of these 2 prawn species.
Raw and boiled prawn extracts were prepared and then resolved by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). IgE-immunoblotting was then performed using sera from patients with positive skin prick tests to the raw prawn extracts.
SDS-PAGE analysis of the raw extracts of both prawn species revealed 23 protein bands; the boiled extracts yielded fewer protein bands. The bands in the range of 40 to 100 kDa were sensitive to heat and therefore were not found in the boiled extracts. Immunoblot of raw extracts of black tiger prawns and king prawns yielded 14 and 11 IgE-binding proteins, respectively, with molecular weights of between 15 and 200 kDa. Proteins at 36, 42, and 49 kDa were detected as the major allergens in both species of prawns. A protein of 75 kDa was also identified as a major allergen in black tiger prawns. Other potential allergens were also observed at various molecular masses.
Proteins of 36, 42, and 49 kDa were identified as the major allergens of both species of prawns. The 36 and 42 kDa proteins are hypothesised to be tropomyosin and arginine kinase, respectively. A high molecular weight protein of 75 kDa was found to be an additional major allergen in black tiger prawns.
allergens; allergy and clinical immunology; hypersensitivity; Penaeus; immunoblotting; tropomyosin
Penicillin (PCN) accounts for most cases of antibiotic allergies. Reported PCN allergy deprives the patient from this class of antibiotics and creates hesitancy in using other beta-lactam antibiotics. The aim of this study is to report the prevalence of self-reported PCN allergy among adult patients admitted to the hospital and to examine the probable validity of these reports.
A questionnaire was conducted among 192 patients with self-reported PCN allergy who were admitted to a community hospital between July 25, 2011 and January 25, 2012. Patients admitted with an infection and treated with a beta-lactam were also followed until hospital discharge.
The mean age of patients at the time of their self-reported allergic reaction was 20.3 years. The most common allergic symptoms reported in decreasing order of frequency were itchy rash, angioedema, and urticaria. Based on analysis of the questionnaires, 121 patients (63.0%) had probable PCN allergy, 54 (28.1%) had possible PCN allergy, and 17 (8.9%) were unlikely to have a PCN allergy. Fifty-one participants (26.6%) had self-reported subsequent exposure to PCN in their life. This subsequent exposure was well tolerated in 86.3% of the participants. Fifty participants (25.9%) had self-reported subsequent exposure to a first generation cephalosporin and it was well tolerated in 78.4% of them.
Taking a detailed history from patients with self-reported PCN allergy can help to distinguish a true PCN allergy from a false positive report of allergy and hence allow clinicians to use this important class of antibiotics when truly indicated.
penicillins; beta-lactam antibiotics; allergy
The current study examined the relationship between self-reported allergy severity, depressive and anxious symptoms, and attitude toward illness in adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with allergies. Participants were 214 undergraduate students between the ages of 17–25 years with self-reported allergies. Participants completed the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), the Zung Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), and the Child Attitude Toward Illness Scale (CATIS) as measures of depressive symptoms, anxious symptoms, and attitude toward illness, respectively. Using the bootstrapping method, results revealed that attitude toward illness mediated the relationship between self-reported disease severity and depressive and anxious symptoms. Results of the current study suggest that attitude toward illness is one pathway by which subjective disease severity impacts psychological functioning in AYAs with allergies.
Asthmatic diseases have been reported since the ancient world. Hay fever for instance, was described for the first time in the late 18th century, and the term “allergy” was introduced about 100 years ago. Today the incidence of allergies is rising; almost one third of the Western population suffers from its side effects. Allergies are some of the most chronic medical complaints, which results in high health expenditures. Therefore, they have a large health and political relevance.
Caused by genetic and environmental factors, the group of IgE mediated allergies is large. It consists of e.g. atopic dermatitis, allergic asthma or allergic rhinitis. This paper aims to emphasize the ways of early diagnosis of allergic rhinitis (AR) as AR represents the most important representative of allergic diseases in ENT.
allergic rhinitis; atopic/allergic diseases; in vitro-diagnosis; specific immunotherapy
The aim of the paper was to asses the relationship between socioeconomic status, the prevalence of allergy and physical development. The data were obtained from 478 female students and 195 male students aged 19-24. The prevalence of allergy in the group surveyed was 14.6% (14.6% in women and 14.4% in men). Allergic diseases were more frequent in students of high socioeconomic status. The results of the analysis of variance did not show any significant differences in anthropometric characteristics between students with and without allergies. However, women and men with allergies diagnosed are on average shorter than people without allergies. The dependency is also visible after adjusting for socioeconomic status. As for the equal status groups, the people with allergies are always shorter than those without allergies. Summarizing, the results of the tests presented indicate that allergic diseases may affect the growing process. However, upon providing appropriate conditions, the growth of children with allergy is not different from the control population.
allergy; socioeconomic status; body height; BMI
To evaluate the presentation and characteristics of patients with keratoconus at a tertiary eye care center in Mumbai, India.
This single center, non-comparative, retrospective cohort analysis was performed on patients with keratoconus who presented to the Clear Vision Eye Center clinic from April 2007 to March 2009. Data was collected to characterize correlations among visual acuity, corneal biomicroscopic findings, and refractive and topographic findings in keratoconus.
Records of 274 patients including 189 male and 85 female subjects with mean age of 20.1±3.5 (range, 13 to 29) years at the time of diagnosis were assessed. There was history of skin allergy in 73 (26.6%), symptomatic ocular allergy in 67 (24.45%) and asthma in 31 (11.31%) patients. The most frequent corneal sign was Fleischer’s ring which was observed in 81% of cases. Corneal topography revealed mean simK (simulated keratometry) of 53.3±6.1 (range, 41.2 to 69.0) diopters. Corneal topography analysis with the Cone Location Magnitude Index disclosed the presence of inferior cones in 93% of patients.
This group of patients had younger age at presentation and more severe keratoconus as compared to western populations; contact lenses were used only in a minority of patients.
Keratoconus; Characteristics; Demography; India
It is estimated that as much as 6-8% population suffers from food allergy or food antigen-related disorders. The prevalence keeps rising. So far we do not have identified remedy to treat food allergy. Avoidance of the offending food is the only effective method currently. Skewed T helper 2 polarization is one of the major feature in the pathogenesis of food allergy. However, the causative mechanism in the initiation of food allergy remains to be further understood. Research in food allergy has got giant advance in recent years. Several animal models have been established and used in food allergy study. One of the common features of these food allergy animal models is that most of them require using microbial products as adjuvant to sensitize animals. This review documents the recent advance in the mechanistic study on concurrent use of microbial products and food antigens to study food allergy.
Food allergy; Microbe; T helper 2 response; Oral tolerance; Intestine; Dendritic cells; T lymphocyte
Allergy is associated with considerable morbidity.
The aim of this multicenter study was to provide insight into allergy knowledge and perceptions among the population.
During the World Allergy Day, several allergy clinics conducted public meetings to encourage the awareness of and education in allergy. At the beginning, participants filled out a questionnaire to assess their knowledge about what is allergy and to determine by whom those symptoms are cared.
A total of 256 participants (187 women/69 men, mean age, 31.2 ± 12.5 years) completed the survey. Of the 202 participants with symptoms, 58.9% had physician-diagnosed allergic disease. Among the 19 symptoms evaluated, 56.5% of the symptoms were recognized as related with allergy, and this increased in compliance with education level (r = +0.427; P < 0.001) but not with diagnosed allergy (P = 0.34). Sneezing was the most common symptom thought to be related with allergy-related symptom (77.5%), whereas loss of smell was the least one (37.9%). Participants were more likely to be cared by an allergologist (72.9%) followed by other specialties, when experiencing allergy.
Increasing the awareness for allergic symptoms is the key not only for the diagnosis but also for the optimal treatment. Therefore, education is an important component of prevention and control of allergic diseases.
allergy; asthma; awareness; diagnosis; symptom; treatment
Food allergies are potentially fatal immune-mediated disorders that are growing globally. The relationship between sex and food allergy remains incompletely understood. Here we tested the hypothesis that, should sex influence the clinical response to food allergens, this would be reflected by a sex disparity in published studies of food allergy. We performed a systematic search of the PubMed literature for IgE-mediated allergy to 11 allergenic foods of international regulatory importance. No date restriction was used and only articles in English were considered. Of the 4744 articles retrieved, 591 met the inclusion criteria representing 17528 subjects with food allergies. Whereas among children with food allergies, 64.35% were males and 35.65% were females (male/female ratio, 1.80), among adults 34.82% were males and 65.18% were females (male/female ratio, 0.53). Consequently, these data argue that there is need for further investigation to define the role of sex in the pathogenesis of food allergy.
Contact Dermatitis (CD) is a frequently encountered skin disease by allergists and dermatologists that results from contact with external allergens. Patch Testing (PT) remains the gold standard in the diagnosis of allergic CD. Studies evaluating PT from allergy practices are lacking.
A multi-center, retrospective chart review of PT within the last 5 years at allergy practices in 3 institutions. We report PT results using allergens in the Thin-Layer Rapid-Use Epicutaneous Test (TT) and additional supplemental allergens [North American Contact Dermatitis (NACD) Panel, Dormer Cosmetic Panel, hairdresser's panel, corticosteroid panel and personal products]. Additionally, patient characteristics including age, gender, occupation, dermatitis site, history of atopic disease and final diagnosis were also obtained.
A total of 427 patients (mean age = 49.8 years) were patch tested, 82% were female, 54% reported an atopic history (history of asthma, atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis or food allergy), 30% were tested with TT, 60% with NACD panel, 30% with cosmetic series, 15% with corticosteroid series and 35% with personal products. The 5 most common positive PT allergens were nickel sulfate, fragrance mix I, P-phenylenediamine, thimerosal and cobalt chloride. The most common dermatitis sites were eyelid/periorbital (31%), facial (25%) and trunk (21%). 56.9% of patients were positive to at least one TT allergen. 25.6% of patients were positive to both a TT and a supplemental allergen (these patients would have been “partially evaluated” with TT allergens alone as they are positive to at least 1 TT allergen and 1 supplemental allergen). 12.5% of patients were negative to a TT allergen and positive to at least 1 supplemental allergen only (these patients would have been “missed” as they are negative to all TT allergens, but positive to at least 1 supplemental allergen).
Nickel remains the most common allergen. When evaluating patients with CD, testing with TT allergens alone would miss 12.5% of patients while 25.6% of patients would be only partially evaluated. As half of our patients were positive to at least 1 TT allergen, the TT remains an adequate screening tool but a more comprehensive panel may be needed to fully evaluate contact dermatitis.
Group 10 allergens (tropomyosins) have been assumed to be a major cause of cross-reactivity between house-dust mites (HDMs) and other invertebrates. Despite all of the published data regarding the epidemiology, percent IgE binding and level of sensitization in the population, the role of tropomyosin as a cross-reactive allergen in patients with multiple allergy syndrome still remains to be elucidated. Homology between amino acid sequences reported in allergen databases of selected invertebrate tropomyosins was determined with Der f 10 as the reference allergen. The 66.9 and 54.4% identities were found with selected crustacean and insect species, respectively, whereas only 20.4% identity was seen with mollusks. A similar analysis was performed using reported B-cell IgE-binding epitopes from Met e1 (shrimp allergen) and Bla g7 (cockroach allergen) with other invertebrate tropomyosins. The percent identity in linear sequences was higher than 35% in mites, crustaceans, and cockroaches. The polar and hydrophobic regions in these groups were highly conserved. These findings suggest that tropomyosin may be a major cause of covariation of sensitization between HDMs, crustaceans, and some species of insects and mollusks.
Cross-reactivity of tropomyosins; group 10 allergens; HDM allergens; homology; IgE-binding epitopes; multiple allergy syndrome; tropomyosins