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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


MEDEIROS, Décio et al. Total IgE level in respiratory allergy: study of patients at high risk for helminthic infection. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2006, vol.82, n.4, pp.255-259. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVE: Eosinophilia and increased serum IgE levels are indicators of atopy; however, other factors can also play a key role, such as intestinal parasitic infections. This study assesses the relationship between total serum IgE, eosinophil count, and anti-Ascaris IgE in individuals with asthma and/or allergic rhinitis. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out in adolescents with asthma and/or allergic rhinitis. The patients had their total serum IgE, anti-Ascaris IgE and eosinophil count measured. RESULTS: A total of 101 patients aged 12 to 21 years were assessed. Median IgE level was 660 IU/mL (P25-75 243.5-1500), and the eosinophil count corresponded to 510 cells/mm3 (P25-75 284-811). Anti-Ascaris IgE was positive in 73% (74/101) of the individuals, but parasitological stool examination yielded positive results in only 33.7% (34/101). The correlation coefficients were the following: 0.34 (p = 0.001) between total IgE level and eosinophil count, 0.52 (p < 0.001) between total IgE level and anti-Ascaris IgE, and 0.26 (p = 0.01) between eosinophil count and anti-Ascaris IgE. The final multiple linear regression model pointed out that anti-Ascaris IgE contributed to a total serum IgE level with a coefficient of determination (adjusted R2) of 0.25 (F = 12.35; p < 0.001). This effect occurred regardless of eosinophil count and of the presence of intestinal helminthic infection. CONCLUSION: In patients with respiratory allergy and increased total serum IgE levels living in areas where there is a high risk for helminthic infections, the quantification of anti-Ascaris IgE can be more useful and more insightful than the parasitological stool examination.

Keywords : IgE; eosinophils; allergy; helminthic infection; ascariasis.

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