2115 Allergen Sensitization in Zimbabwean Children with Atopic Dermatitis

Thursday, 15 October 2015
Hall D1 Foyer (Floor 3) (Coex Convention Center)

Jin-Kyong Chun, MD , Paediatrics, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe

Hilda Angela Mujuru, MD , Paediatrics, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe

Elopy N Sibanda, MD , Asthma Allergy and Immune Dysfunction Clinic, Harare, Zimbabwe

Background: The identification of food allergens implicated in the manifestation of atopic dermatitis is central to the prevention of serious hypersensitivity reactions and avoiding unnecessary and costly elimination diets. We investigated the profile of allergens sensitized in Zimbabwean children presenting with atopic dermatitis.

Methods: Total 111 pediatric patients with atopic dermatitis attending an allergy clinic of Zimbabwe were evaluated with Euroimmun®immunoblotting assays from Jan. 2010 to Dec. 2014. The median age of subjects was 5 years of age (range: 0-16 years of age). Total of 14 allergens were tested in each patient.

Results: 56.8% (63/111) were sensitized to at least one food allergen. Potato-specific IgE was detected with highest frequency as 32/111 (28%). Two-thirds 64.5% (40/62), of the tested children under 7 years of age were food allergen sensitized. Approximately half, 47% (23/49) of children older than 7 years were sensitized. There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups (relative risk: 1.39, 95%CI: 0.96-1.99). In terms of egg allergy, there was a statistically significant difference between the under and over 7 years of age groups (relative risk: 1.89, 95%CI: 1.47-2.50, P < 0.001). Among 63 patients who showed positive result, 40 patients (63%) showed multiple sensitizations to more than 3 allergens. 89% of patients who have wheat allergy also showed sensitization against rice as well.  There was no concordance between milk allergy and soy allergy. Peanut sensitization was found in 27% of enrolled patients, 2/3 of patients with peanut allergy showed cross-reactivity with hazelnut. The most serious adverse effect of peanut allergy in this population was the oral allergy syndrome. There was no serious anaphylactic reaction in patients with peanut or potato allergy.

Conclusions: Food allergen sensitization is common amongst children with atopic dermatitis. The highest sensitogens, potato and peanut were not associated with severe allergic reactions. Egg allergy is predominantly seen in children under 7 years of age.