Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Evaluation of atopy within maternal cohort

In WP1.1, up to 200 pregnant women were recruited for the study from each of 5 regions with different environmental characteristics. A blood sample was taken from each subject and serum extracted and stored frozen. The samples were analysed for total and specific IgE and atopic or non-atopic status assigned based upon selected case definitions. These definitions were based upon the IgE results and the allergic history of the subject obtained from maternal questionnaire information.

The case definitions were as follows:
- Atopic - positive symptoms
- Atopic - sIgE (> or = 0.35 kU/ml)
- Atopic - positive symptoms AND sIgE with 3 being the most strict and 1 the least strict definition.
- Non-atopic - negative for symptoms AND sIgE (< 0.35kU/ml).

Allergy development/manifestation is the result of the environmental exposure to risk/protective factors and genetic background of the individual. With the aim to objectify genetic background of children with respect to allergy, atopic status of mothers was assessed, using the case definitions above.

Significant differences existed between regions and countries according to each definition of maternal atopic status (p<0.0001). The highest prevalence of atopic mothers by any definition was observed in Mol, Belgium. In accordance with this, the region Mol had the lowest prevalence of mothers free of any allergy symptoms or allergen specific IgE. Both Romanian regions and rural region of Slovakia, Stara Lubovna had similar (statistically insignificant differences) prevalence of atopy positive and negative mothers. In Slovakia significant differences were found between urban (Bratislava) and rural (Stara Lubovna) regions (p<0.0001), with higher atopy prevalence in Bratislava region.

Reported by

Biophysics Research Unit, Bristol Oncology Centre
United Kingdom
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