Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - GLOFAL (Global view of food allergy: opportunities to study the influence of microbial exposure)

The GLOFAL project aimed to upgrade the research capacity of a group of scientists in Ghana, Gabon and Indonesia to allow them to conduct studies on prevalence of allergies, in particular food allergies, in the respective countries. The GLOFAL project has its focus on the influence of microbial and parasitic exposures on allergic disorders and to this end the prevalence of allergies will be determined in areas with high and low microbial exposures.

Following the trainings and workshops in the Netherlands, Spain, Indonesia, Ghana and Gabon, pilot studies would take place during the lifetime of the project to ensure that the teams put knowledge gained into practice and that some preliminary data is generated on the extent of the problem. Such well trained teams are needed to ensure that Europe in collaboration with teams in geographically distinct areas in the world can study the prevalence of allergies, and the risk and protective factors associated with it. Identification of the risk factors for distinct geographical areas, might help to prevent the allergic march in the urban centres of the developing world whereas identification of protective factors might be useful for the halting the allergic march in the economically advantageous world.

All the objectives of GLOFAL were achieved at the end of the project. Workshops and training were organised out in Europe (Netherlands and Spain) as well as in developing countries (Indonesia, Ghana and Gabon). The workshops in the developing countries were attended by a broad spectrum of medical, paramedical and scientific staff from other institution including ministry of health.

In Indonesia, the pilot studies were done in 2 locations. In Flores Island, the pilot study involved 1 500 participants aged 5 to 15. Skin prick tests were conducted using peanut, shrimp, fish, soybean, cockroach and mite allergens. Using statistical knowledge obtaining during the training and the workshops, preliminary analysis of the data has been undertaken. The results showed that the prevalence of peanut and mite sensitisation is higher in semi urban compared to rural areas. Using the same set of allergens, the second field study was also conducted in Makassar, Indonesia by Hasanuddin University. This pilot study involved school children from urban poor and urban rich area.

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