Background: As the prevalence of allergic diseases like asthma, rhinitis and eczema are gradually increasing in India, knowledge of the prevalence of common allergens causing allergic asthma/rhinitis and eczema will be useful for the optimum use of therapeutic modalities like allergen avoidance and immunotherapy to reduce the burden of these diseases. Most of the studies in India are based on skin prick or intra dermal testing which are conducted by non standardized techniques. There is lack of studies based on the measurement of specific IgE antibodies by ImmunoCAP technique which has been recently introduced in India. Therefore ImmunoCAP specific serum IgE antibody assay was done to determine the prevalence of 94 allergens in patients with eczema and allergic asthma/rhinitis in India.
Method: This study was conducted in New Delhi, India for six months. 170 patients with allergic rhinitis/asthma and eczema were recruited in the study to investigate the pattern of 94 allergen prevalence using ImmunoCAP allergen specific IgE antibody assay. Data was analyzed using SPSS 17.
Results: All 170 patients enrolled in the study showed a positive response to one or more allergens. In both the genders, Dust mites, Cockroach, Bermuda grass and Ragweed were found to be most prominent allergens. Dust mites were more prominent in the age group below 5 years. Other important allergens were Ragweed, Bermuda grass, Johnson grass and Cockroach. Also, in the age group 5years and above, Dust mites were the most important allergen followed by Cockroach, Bermuda grass, Ragweed and Cocklebur.
In patients with Asthma/rhinitis, the dominant allergens found were Dust mites ( 41.24%), Cockroach (40.20%), Bermuda grass (28.87%) and Ragweed (24.74%) respectively (P<0.05). While in patients with Eczema, Cockroach (37.5%) was more prominent followed by Dust mites, Wheat and Shrimp each having a prevalence of 31.5% (P<0.05)
Conclusion: In India, this is one of the first study of its kind which uses FDA approved and WHO standardized gold standard method of ImmunoCAP specific IgE assay to estimate the prevalence of different allergens in patients with asthma/allergic rhinitis and eczema. One or more allergens are responsible for causing Asthma/Rhinitis and Eczema and the prevalence is increasing in India. Avoidance of known allergens and specific immunotherapy can significantly reduce the need for ongoing expensive pharmacological long term treatment and enhance remission.