Toxocara spp. in children with atopy
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Atopy or atopic syndrome is a predisposition toward developing certain allergic hypersensitivity reactions.
The term "atopy" was coined by Coca and Cooke in 1923. Many physicians and scientists use the term "atopy" for any IgE-mediated reaction (even those that are appropriate and proportional to the antigen), but many pediatricians reserve the word "atopy" for a genetically mediated predisposition to an excessive IgE reaction
A description of the experience
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2014 Oct 13. pii: tru165. [Epub ahead of print]
Seroprevalence of Toxocara spp. in children with atopy.
Grama DF1, Lescano SZ2, Pereira Mota KC1, Anjos Pultz BD1, Miranda JS1, Silva Segundo GR3, Taketomi EA4, Fernandes KP3, Limongi JE1, de Paula FM5, Chieffi PP2, Cury MC6.
BACKGROUND: Epidemiological studies around the world suggest that infection with Toxocara spp. can contribute to the development or worsening of atopic diseases, especially in children. This study investigated the seroprevalence of toxocariasis in atopic children treated at the pediatric clinic of the Federal University of Uberlândia Clinical Hospital, identifying possible relationships with risk factors.
METHODS: The study was conducted between November 2011 and March 2013. Blood samples were collected from 173 children aged 6 to 15 years, who were first subjected to clinical exams and then to a skin-prick test to determine the presence or absence of atopy. Risk factors for toxocariasis were analyzed based on a questionnaire. Serum samples were tested for the presence of IgG antibodies to Toxocara spp. by means of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
RESULTS: The seroprevalence of Toxocara spp. was 19.6% (24/122) in atopic children and 15% (8/51) in non-atopic children, with no statistical difference. No significant association was found between infection and possible risk factors in atopic and non-atopic children.
CONCLUSIONS: Although no statistical association was found between human toxocariasis and atopy, this study revealed a high seroprevalence of Toxocara spp. in children that may indicate environmental contamination with the parasite's eggs in the area where these children live.
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