Methods: Fifty children with respiratory allergy and history of worsening symptoms by food allergy (Patient group) and 20 non-atopic healthy children (Control group) were enrolled in the study. Food allergy was assessed through Skin prick test (SPT) with various food allergens and total IgE levels was determined by sandwich ELISA. Th1, Th2, and Th17 dependent cytokines were determined by flow cytometric bead array.
Results: In the study group, all the 50 children were found to be positive for cutaneous hypersensitivity against various food allergens (Milk and Orange=7, Egg=6, Banana, Fish and Groundnut=10, Mango=4, Wheat=9 and Rice=17). The average level of total IgE in the study group was 316.8±189.8 IU/mL. There was a significant positive correlation of total IgE with IL-17(r=0.796; p<0.0001), IL-13 (r= 0.383; p=0.01) and IL-4 (r=0.263; p=0.043) level, and negative correlation with IFN-γ (r= -0.5823; p<0.0001) and IL-10 (r= -0.4474; p<0.001) level. A negative correlation was noted between the duration of breast feeding and total IgE level (r=-0.31, p=0.03)
Conclusions: The study demonstrates positive correlation between total IgE, Th2 cytokines and Th17 cytokines. It also demonstrated that duration of breast feeding is significantly correlated with Total IgE.