Project: Research project

Project Details


The purpose of this research is to prospectively evaluated the
relationship between the intensity of airborne allergen exposure
and the development of allergic sensitivity (production of
allergen specific IgE) in a cohort of 80 children followed from
birth to four years of age. The children selected for study will
have a high genetic risk of atopy based on an elevated cord blood
IgE concentration of greater than or equal to 0.6 u/ml.

The quantities of the five inhalant allergens, to which young
children most commonly become sensitized, will be measured in
monthly air samples from each child's bedroom using a small
volumetric air sampler, and an ELISA inhibition assay. The
allergens selected are: cat, dog mite, ragweed, and timothery.
Other variables thought to be related to the risk of atopy;
tobacco smoke exposure, feeding history, and respiratory
infections, will also be studied to determine whether any or
these variables contribute more to the risk of inhalant allergy
than intensity of allergen exposure. Tobacco smoke exposure
will be quantitated by measuring urinary cotinine concentrations
every two months. The child's feeding history and history of
respiratory illnesses will be recorded during monthly interviews
in a standardized fashion. The onset and degree of allergic
sensitization will be determined by measuring serum
concentrations of allergen specific IgE, to the same five
allergens every six months.

The data collected will be analyzed to determine if the intensity
of allergen exposure is the most important risk factor for the
development of allergic sensitization in a genetically susceptible
population. We will also examine whether there is a critical
intensity of exposure below which sensitization is unlikely to
occur and whether the intensity of exposure and degree of
sensitization are correlated. The answers to these questions
should suggest the degree to which environmental control
measures could reduced the risk of allergic sensitization. This
information is important in the effort to reduce the rising
prevalence of asthma and other allergic diseases among children.
Effective start/end date2/1/8711/30/99


  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)