Article Title

The prevalence of specific IgE to common foods and dust mite in the sera of allergic patients in Taiwan


Food allergy refers to an abnormal immunologic response to foods. Food hypersensitivity reactions have become an increasingly troublesome issue over the last few decades. This study aims to investigate the prevalence of food allergies and to collect sera samples for the identification of allergens in foods. A total of 206 subjects from allergy and clinical immunology clinics, Taichung Veterans General Hospital were recruited in this study. The prevalence of food hypersensitivity was determined. The specific IgE to crude extracts of maize, rice, soybeans, broccoli, peanuts, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, allergen components of pathogenesis related protein-10 (PR-10) and lipid transfer protein (LTP), were measured using a Phadia ImmunoCAP autoanalyzer. A total of 70.4% subjects had specific IgE to D. pteronyssinus and close to 10% of all subjects had IgE to soybeans, rice, maize, broccoli, and peanuts. The IgE titer to LTP and PR-IO were low and had cross-reactivity with hazelnuts and wall pellitory. The relationship between allergic diseases and food specific IgE demonstrated that patients with skin allergy had a high prevalence of food hypersensitivity. There was a good correlation between the titer of IgE to D. pteronyssinus and food. Regarding the occurrence of skin allergies, there were higher incidences in the male subjects (53.2%) than in the female subjects (35.8%). The food-specific IgE (soybeans, rice, maize, broccoli, and peanuts) in male allergic subjects were apparently higher than female allergic subjects (p < 0.05). In the relationship between age and allergy, there were more younger-aged subjects (63.9%) with skin allergies than adult subjects (37.8%). However, there were more adult subjects (48.8%) with airway allergy than younger-aged subjects (27.8%). The percentage of mite specific IgE were apparently higher in the subjects under the age of 18 as compared with subjects over 18 years old. And the occurrence of airway allergy was mostly observed in subjects over 18 years old. However, the occurrence of skin allergy mostly happened in subjects under 18 years old. These results indicated that both food allergen and aeroallergen can be sensitized by the allergic subjects and may cause different degrees of severity of IgE responses. In conclusion, the sera containing allergen specific IgE to edible food can be collected from allergic subjects particularly those patients with skin allergies. These sera can be used for the detection of allergens in both conventional and genetically modified organisms.

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