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Concept: Atopy

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BACKGROUND: Studies on the association of birth by caesarean section (C/S) and allergies have produced conflicting findings. Furthermore, evidence on whether this association may differ in those at risk of atopy is limited. This study aims to investigate the association of mode of delivery with asthma and atopic sensitization and the extent to which any effect is modified by family history of allergies. METHODS: Asthma outcomes were assessed cross-sectionally in 2216 children at age 8 on the basis of parents' responses to the ISAAC questionnaire whilst skin prick tests to eleven aeroallergens were also performed in a subgroup of 746 children. Adjusted odds ratios of asthma and atopy by mode of delivery were estimated in multivariable logistic models while evidence of effect modification was examined by introducing interaction terms in the models. RESULTS: After adjusting for potential confounders, children born by C/S appeared significantly more likely than those born vaginally to report ever wheezing (OR 1.36, 95% CI 1.07-1.71), asthma diagnosis (OR 1.41, 95% CI 1.09-1.83) and be atopic (OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.08-2.60). There was modest evidence that family history of allergies may modify the effect of C/S delivery on atopy (p for effect modification=0.06) but this was not the case for the asthma outcomes. Specifically, while more than a two-fold increase in the odds of being a topic was observed in children with a family history of allergies if born by C/S (OR 2.62, 95% CI 1.38-5.00), no association was observed in children without a family history of allergies (OR 1.16, 95% CI 0.64-2.11). CONCLUSIONS: Birth by C/S is associated with asthma and atopic sensitization in childhood. The association of C/S and atopy appears more pronounced in children with family history of allergies.

Concepts: Allergen, Caesarean delivery on maternal request, Odds ratio, Hypersensitivity, Allergy, Atopy, Childbirth, Asthma

171

Crosslinking of immunoglobulin E antibodies (IgE) bound at the surface of mast cells and subsequent mediator release is considered the most important trigger for allergic reactions. Therefore, the genetic control of IgE levels is studied in the context of allergic diseases, such as asthma, atopic rhinitis, or atopic dermatitis (AD). We performed genome-wide association studies in 161 Labrador Retrievers with regard to total and allergen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels. We identified a genome-wide significant association on CFA 5 with the antigen-specific IgE responsiveness to Acarus siro. We detected a second genome-wide significant association with respect to the antigen-specific IgE responsiveness to Tyrophagus putrescentiae at a different locus on chromosome 5. A. siro and T. putrescentiae both belong to the family Acaridae and represent so-called storage or forage mites. These forage mites are discussed as major allergen sources in canine AD. No obvious candidate gene for the regulation of IgE levels is located under the two association signals. Therefore our studies offer a chance of identifying a novel mechanism controlling the host’s IgE response.

Concepts: White blood cell, Hypersensitivity, Atopy, Mast cell, Immunoglobulin E, Immune system, Asthma, Allergy

151

We previously identified MGL_1304 secreted by Malassezia globosa as a sweat antigen for patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) and cholinergic urticaria (ChU). However, purifying native MGL_1304 from human sweat or culture supernatant of M. globosa (sup-MGL_1304) is costly and time-consuming. Moreover, recombinant MGL_1304 expressed by using Escherichia coli (TF-rMGL_1304) needs a large chaperon protein and lacks the original glycosylation of yeasts. Thus, we generated a recombinant MGL_1304 by Pichia pastoris (P-rMGL_1304) and investigated its characteristic features.

Concepts: Fungus, Atopy, Cholinergic urticaria, Gut flora, Endoplasmic reticulum, Yeasts, Protein, Escherichia coli

139

Few studies addressed trans-regional differences in allergen sensitization between areas within a similar latitudinal range but with distinct geomorphological features. We investigated specific IgE (sIgE) positivity to common allergens in populations from two southern China provinces. Using a uniformed protocol, serum samples were collected from 2778 subjects with suspected atopy in coastal Guangdong and inland Yunnan. The overall prevalence of sIgE positivity were 57.8% (95% CI: 56.0%, 59.6%) from Guangdong vs 60.9% (95% CI: 59.1%, 62.7%) from Yunnan. House dust mite (d1) was the most common allergen in both regions. Among d1-sensitized subjects, only 35.7% (208/583) in Guangdong and 22.9% (147/642) in Yunnan tested positive for d1 alone. Among those poly-sensitized d1-positive subjects, cockroach was the most common co-sensitizing aeroallergen. 41.9% of the d1-sensitized Guangdong subjects showed high-class sIgE reactivity (≥class 4), in contrast to a very low percentage of such reactivity in Yunnan. However, 36.3% of d1-sensitized subjects in Yunnan were concomitantly positive for tree pollen mix. Surprisingly, Yunnan subjects showed high prevalence of sIgE positivity for crabs and shrimps, either by overall or by age-group analysis, compared with their Guangdong counterparts (both P < 0.05). These findings may add to data about local allergies in China and worldwide.

Concepts: Arachnid, Atopy, Mite, People's Republic of China, House dust mite, Allergen, Allergy, Asthma

133

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The role of clothing in the management of eczema (also called atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema) is poorly understood. This trial evaluated the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of silk garments (in addition to standard care) for the management of eczema in children with moderate to severe disease.

Concepts: Atopy, Atopic dermatitis, Textile, Clothing, Eczema

69

The hygiene hypothesis suggests that early-life exposure to microbial organisms reduces the risk of developing allergies. Thumb-sucking and nail-biting are common childhood habits that may increase microbial exposures. We tested the hypothesis that children who suck their thumbs or bite their nails have a lower risk of developing atopy, asthma, and hay fever in a population-based birth cohort followed to adulthood.

Concepts: Habits, Hygiene hypothesis, Microorganism, Allergen, Hypersensitivity, Atopy, Allergy, Asthma

49

Allergic reactions can be considered as maladaptive IgE immune responses towards environmental antigens. Intriguingly, these mechanisms are observed to be very similar to those implicated in the acquisition of an important degree of immunity against metazoan parasites (helminths and arthropods) in mammalian hosts. Based on the hypothesis that IgE-mediated immune responses evolved in mammals to provide extra protection against metazoan parasites rather than to cause allergy, we predict that the environmental allergens will share key properties with the metazoan parasite antigens that are specifically targeted by IgE in infected human populations. We seek to test this prediction by examining if significant similarity exists between molecular features of allergens and helminth proteins that induce an IgE response in the human host. By employing various computational approaches, 2712 unique protein molecules that are known IgE antigens were searched against a dataset of proteins from helminths and parasitic arthropods, resulting in a comprehensive list of 2445 parasite proteins that show significant similarity through sequence and structure with allergenic proteins. Nearly half of these parasite proteins from 31 species fall within the 10 most abundant allergenic protein domain families (EF-hand, Tropomyosin, CAP, Profilin, Lipocalin, Trypsin-like serine protease, Cupin, BetV1, Expansin and Prolamin). We identified epitopic-like regions in 206 parasite proteins and present the first example of a plant protein (BetV1) that is the commonest allergen in pollen in a worm, and confirming it as the target of IgE in schistosomiasis infected humans. The identification of significant similarity, inclusive of the epitopic regions, between allergens and helminth proteins against which IgE is an observed marker of protective immunity explains the ‘off-target’ effects of the IgE-mediated immune system in allergy. All these findings can impact the discovery and design of molecules used in immunotherapy of allergic conditions.

Concepts: Atopy, Food allergy, Antigen, Allergy, Antibody, Immunology, Asthma, Immune system

28

There are no existing longitudinal studies of inflammatory markers and atopic disorders in childhood and risk of hypomanic symptoms in adulthood. This study examined if childhood: (1) serum interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein (CRP); and (2) asthma and/or eczema are associated with features of hypomania in young adulthood.

Concepts: Allergy, Asthma, Atopy, Epidemiology, Inflammation, Longitudinal study, C-reactive protein, Cohort study

28

Abstract Background: Saudi Arabia has a declining rate of breastfeeding and increasing levels of childhood asthma and atopic disease. In highly economically developed countries, breastfeeding of children at high risk of atopic disease reduces the likelihood of atopic dermatitis, wheezing associated with respiratory infections, and possibly asthma. This study investigated the prevalence of breastfeeding and its association with wheezing/asthma and atopic disease in 1-3-year-old children in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional study of children attending routine “well-baby” clinics in three Saudi State Hospitals in Riyadh. An interviewer administered a questionnaire to collect data on sociodemographics, breastfeeding, wheezing symptoms, asthma, and atopic disease. Results: In total, 622 children 1-3 years old were recruited. Of these, 75% of children were ever breastfed, and 36% of children were fully breastfed, with 20% of children being fully breastfed for ≥3 months. Increasing duration of full breastfeeding was associated with a reduced likelihood of maternal reporting of her child having “ever wheezed,” “wheezed' in the last 12 months,” and “ever having asthma,” with adjusted odds ratio for full breastfeeding ≥12 months versus never breastfed of 0.51 (95% confidence interval 0.29-0.90), 0.48 (0.26-0.88), and 0.46 (0.22-0.94), respectively. No associations were demonstrable between full or ever breastfeeding and atopic dermatitis/eczema, irrespective of family history of atopic disease. Conclusions: Although breastfeeding does not protect children from developing eczema in Riyadh, full breastfeeding is associated with reduced childhood wheezing and possibly asthma. Further efforts should be made to promote breastfeeding in Saudi Arabia.

Concepts: Arabian Peninsula, Mecca, Jeddah, Ha'il, Riyadh, Atopy, Saudi Arabia, Asthma