The effect of single and multiple infections on atopy and wheezing in children.

Alcantara-Neves, NM; Veiga, RV; Dattoli, VC; Fiaccone, RL; Esquivel, R; Cruz, Á, A; Cooper, PJ; Rodrigues, LC; Barreto, ML; (2012) The effect of single and multiple infections on atopy and wheezing in children. The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology, 129 (2). 359-67, 367.e1-3. ISSN 0091-6749 DOI:

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BACKGROUND: The current epidemic of asthma and atopy has been explained by alterations in immune responses related to reduction in childhood infections. However, the findings of epidemiologic studies investigating the association between infection with atopy and asthma have been inconsistent.<br/> OBJECTIVE: We sought to investigate the effect of single or multiple infections (pathogen burden) on atopy and wheeze in urban children from Latin America.<br/> METHODS: Specific IgE against aeroallergens (sIgE) and skin prick test (SPT) reactivity for the most common local allergens were measured in 1128 children aged 4 to 11 years. Data on wheezing and potential confounders were collected by questionnaire. Infections by 8 pathogens were assessed by using serology and stool examination. Associations of wheeze and atopic outcomes with single and multiple infections were analyzed by means of logistic regression.<br/> RESULTS: Negative results for Toxoplasma gondii were associated with a higher prevalence of sIgE (≥0.70 kU/L), whereas negative results for Ascaris lumbricoides, T gondii, herpes simplex virus, and EBV were associated with a higher prevalence of SPT reactivity. Children with 3 or fewer infection markers had a higher prevalence of sIgE and SPT reactivity compared with those with 4 or more infection markers. However, isolated infections or pathogen burden were not associated with the prevalence of atopic or nonatopic wheeze.<br/> CONCLUSION: The findings provide support for the idea that the hygiene hypothesis is operating in an urban Latin American context, but its expression is thus far restricted to the atopic status of patients and not the perceived asthma symptoms.<br/>

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Research Centre: Centre for Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH)
Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 22035877
Web of Science ID: 299951700009


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