Allergy afflicts one third of children, negatively impacting their quality of life and generating a significant socio-economic burden. To this day, this disorder remains difficult to diagnose early in young patients, with no predictive test available.
This study was designed to correlate cytokine profiles with clinical phenotypes of allergy development.
Three hundred patients were recruited and followed from birth to 18 months of age. They were given a clinical exam at birth and at 2, 6, 12, and 18 months of age, with skin prick tests at 6, and 18 months, in order to have a record of their medical history and determine their allergic status. In addition, mononuclear cells from 131 patients were isolated from cord blood and from peripheral blood samples at 2, 6 and 18 months of age, to analyse their cytokine and chemokine production.
Cord blood mononuclear cells (CBMCs) from future Immunoglobulin (Ig) E-mediated allergic children produced significantly less Interleukin (IL)-12p70 and IL-15 than cells from the rest of the cohort. Multivariate analyses revealed that the best predictive model of allergy was built on cytokine data, whereas the best predictive model of IgE-mediated allergy was built on clinical parameters.
Conclusions and clinical relevance
Although univariate analyses can yield interesting information regarding the immune responses of allergic children, finding predictive markers of the disorder will likely rely on monitoring multiple parameters. Nonetheless these analyses suggest a potential key role for IL-15 in the development of atopic disease. In addition, the study highlights the importance of clinical parameters in predicting the development of IgE-mediated allergy.