BioMed Research International: Allergy The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. IL-33 Enhanced the Proliferation and Constitutive Production of IL-13 and IL-5 by Fibrocytes Sun, 13 Apr 2014 13:10:48 +0000 Interleukin-33 appears to play important roles in the induction of allergic airway inflammation. However, whether IL-33 is involved in airway remodeling remains unclear. Because fibrocytes contribute to tissue remodeling in the setting of chronic inflammation, we examined the effects of IL-33 on fibrocyte functions. Fibrocytes were generated in vitro from peripheral blood mononuclear cells by culturing in the presence of platelet derived growth factors and the cells were stimulated with IL-33. IL-33 enhanced cell proliferation, -SMA expression, and pro-MMP-9 activity by the fibrocytes without increasing endogenous transforming growth factor-1 production. Fibrocytes constitutively expressed IL-13 and IL-5, and their production was augmented by stimulation with IL-33. Dexamethasone inhibited the functions of fibrocytes, but IL-33 made fibrocytes slightly refractory to the inhibitory effect of dexamethasone in terms of IL-13 production. Montelukast suppressed IL-13 production by nonstimulated fibrocytes but not those stimulated by IL-33. These findings suggest that IL-33 is involved in the airway remodeling process through its modulation of fibrocyte function independent of antigen stimulation. IL-33 might partially reduce the therapeutic effects of glucocorticoid and cysteinyl leukotriene receptor antagonist on fibrocyte-mediated Th2 responses. Hisako Hayashi, Akiko Kawakita, Shintaro Okazaki, Hiroki Murai, Motoko Yasutomi, and Yusei Ohshima Copyright © 2014 Hisako Hayashi et al. All rights reserved. Safety and Efficacy of Tree Pollen Specific Immunotherapy on the Ultrarush Administration Schedule Method Using Purethal Trees Mon, 24 Mar 2014 08:22:59 +0000 Background. Specific immunotherapy (SIT) with an ultrarush administration schedule with Purethal for tree pollen allergens has been evaluated to assess its efficacy and safety. Methods. The study group consisted of 22 patients with symptoms of allergic rhinitis and confirmed allergy to tree pollens. Patients were randomized and given an administration schedule of either ultrarush therapy or conventional preseasonal SIT. Treatment was performed during three consecutive years. Results. After three years of treatment, a similar reduction in nasal symptoms was observed; according to the visual analog scale, there was a decrease from 3.991 ± 0.804 points to 1.634 ± 0.540 in the ultrarush group and from 3.845 ± 0.265 to 1.501 ± 0.418 in the group desensitized using the conventional method (). There was also a comparable reduction in the use of relief drugs during pollen season and an increase in the serum concentration of IgG4 to tree pollens. No significant differences in the safety profile were observed. Conclusion. An administration schedule of ultrarush SIT with Purethal Trees is a safe treatment in preliminary observations. This therapy is comparable with conventional administration of SIT in the field of efficacy and safety. Andrzej Bozek, Krzysztof Kolodziejczyk, and Jerzy Jarzab Copyright © 2014 Andrzej Bozek et al. All rights reserved. Interleukin 1-β, Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist, and Interleukin 18 in Children with Acute Spontaneous Urticaria Sun, 29 Dec 2013 09:11:58 +0000 Very little is known about the role of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and interleukin-18 (IL-18) in urticaria. Material and Methods. Serum levels of IL-1β, IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA), and IL-18 were measured in 56 children with urticaria and in 41 healthy subjects. Results. Serum IL-1β did not differ between children with acute urticaria and controls. Children with single episode of urticaria had higher levels of IL-1RA and IL-18 than healthy subjects. In children with single episode of urticaria, level of IL-1RA correlated with C-reactive protein (CRP), D-dimer, and IL-1β levels. In subjects with recurrence of urticaria IL-1RA was positively correlated with WBC and D-dimer levels. No correlation of cytokine levels and urticaria severity scores (UAS) in all children with urticaria was observed. In children with single episode of urticaria UAS correlated with CRP level. In the group with single episode of urticaria and in children with symptoms of upper respiratory infection, IL-1RA and IL-18 levels were higher than in controls. The former was higher than in noninfected children with urticaria. In conclusion, this preliminary study documents that serum IL-1RA and IL-18 levels are increased in some children with acute urticaria. However further studies are necessary to define a pathogenic role of IL-1β, IL-1RA, and IL-18 in urticaria. E. Machura, M. Szczepańska, B. Mazur, M. Barć-Czarnecka, and A. Kasperska-Zając Copyright © 2013 E. Machura et al. All rights reserved. Peanut Sensitization Profiles in Italian Children and Adolescents with Specific IgE to Peanuts Thu, 14 Nov 2013 13:58:02 +0000 Peanuts are one of the most relevant foods implicated in IgE-mediated adverse reactions in pediatric population. This study aimed to evaluate the pattern of sensitization towards five peanut allergenic components (rAra h 1, 2, 3, 8 and 9) in a population of Italian children and adolescents with specific IgE (sIgE) to peanut. rAra h 9 was the main allergen implicated in peanut sensitization (58%), followed by rAra h 8 (35%), rAra h 2 (27%), rAra h 3 (23%) and rAra h 1 (12.5%). rAra h 1, 2, and 3 were the main allergenic components in young children: 8/13 (62%) between 2 and 5 years, 8/23 (35%) between 6 and 11 years, and 3/12 (25%) between 1 and 16 years. No differences were found among the levels of sIgE towards rAra h 1, 2, 3, and 9 in the three groups; in contrast, the levels of sIgE against rAra h 8 showed an increasing trend according to age. In conclusion rAra h 1, 2, and 3 were the prevalent sensitizing allergens during the first years of life in Italian patients with sIgE to peanuts (“genuine” allergy); in contrast rAra h 9 and 8 were mainly involved in school-age children and adolescents with pollen allergy (“secondary” sensitization). Elisabetta Calamelli, Carlo Caffarelli, and Giampaolo Ricci Copyright © 2013 Elisabetta Calamelli et al. All rights reserved. Occupational Allergic Diseases in Kitchen and Health Care Workers: An Underestimated Health Issue Mon, 11 Nov 2013 09:08:27 +0000 Objective. This study evaluated the frequencies of allergic symptoms and rate of upper respiratory infections during the past year in the general population, kitchen workers (KW) and health care workers (HCW). Methods. The European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) was used to inquire retrospectively about asthma and asthma-like symptoms and the number of treatments required for previous upper respiratory tract infections (URTI: acute pharyngitis, acute sinusitis, etc.) during the past year for health care workers, kitchen workers, and members of the general population. Adjusted odds ratios by gender, age, and smoking status were calculated. Results. 579 subjects (186 from the general population, 205 KW, and 188 HCW; 263 females, 316 males) participated in the study. Noninfectious (allergic) rhinitis was significantly higher in the HCW and KW groups than in the general population (). Cumulative asthma was significantly higher only in the HCW group (). In addition, the HCW and KW groups had significantly higher risks of ≥2/year URTI (OR: 1.59, 95% CI: 1.07–2.38 versus OR: 1.57, 95% CI: 1.05–2.38) than the general population. Conclusion. Occupational allergic respiratory diseases are an important and growing health issue. Health care providers should become familiar with workplace environments and environmental causes of occupational rhinitis and asthma. Ugur Bilge, Ilhami Unluoglu, Nazan Son, Ahmet Keskin, Yasemin Korkut, and Murat Unalacak Copyright © 2013 Ugur Bilge et al. All rights reserved. Is Delayed Pressure Urticaria Associated with Increased Systemic Release of sCD40L? Wed, 23 Oct 2013 13:05:29 +0000 Background. Elevated levels of soluble CD40 Ligand (sCD40L) were found in serum but not in plasma of patients with chronic spontaneous urticaria (CU). What is important is that sCD40L has proinflammatory properties, and its elevated plasma level may indicate increased risk of cardiovascular events. These observations should stimulate further evaluation of sCD40L in different forms of urticaria. Aim. In the present study, sCD40L plasma level was investigated in delayed pressure urticaria (DPU). Methods. As platelets are predominant and variable sources of sCD40L, we investigated sCD40L concentration in platelet-poor plasma (PPP), which seems the best way to minimize the potential contribution of these cells to the ligand level. Results. Plasma sCD40L concentration was significantly increased in the DPU group compared to the healthy controls. Conclusions. It seems that DPU is associated with increased systemic release of sCD40L, which is believed to derive predominantly from activated platelets. The present study as well as the earlier contributions suggest that distinct cells activity, including platelets, may be identified in different types of urticaria. T. Jasinska, A. Grzanka, E. Machura, and A. Kasperska-Zajac Copyright © 2013 T. Jasinska et al. All rights reserved. Depigmented Allergoids Reveal New Epitopes with Capacity to Induce IgG Blocking Antibodies Tue, 08 Oct 2013 10:26:44 +0000 Background. The synthesis of allergen-specific blocking IgGs that interact with IgE after allergen immunotherapy (SIT) has been related to clinical efficacy. The objectives were to investigate the epitope specificity of IgG-antibodies induced by depigmented-polymerized (Dpg-Pol) allergoids and unmodified allergen extracts, and examine IgE-blocking activity of induced IgG-antibodies. Methods. Rabbits were immunized with native and Dpg-Pol extracts of birch pollen, and serum samples were obtained. Recognition of linear IgG-epitopes of Bet v 1 and Bet v 2 and the capacity of these IgG-antibodies to block binding of human-IgE was determined. Results. Serum from rabbits immunized with native extracts recognised 11 linear epitopes from Bet v 1, while that from Dpg-Pol-immunized animals recognised 8. For Bet v 2, 8 epitopes were recognized by IgG from native immunized animals, and 9 from Dpg-Pol immunized one. Dpg-Pol and native immunized serum did not always recognise the same epitopes, but specific-IgG from both could block human-IgE binding sites for native extract. Conclusions. Depigmented-polymerized birch extract stimulates the synthesis of specific IgG-antibodies which recognize common but also novel epitopes compared with native extracts. IgG-antibodies induced by Dpg-Pol effectively inhibit human-IgE binding to allergens which may be part of the mechanism of action of SIT. M. Angeles López-Matas, Mayte Gallego, Víctor Iraola, Douglas Robinson, and Jerónimo Carnés Copyright © 2013 M. Angeles López-Matas et al. All rights reserved. The Fold Variant BM4 Is Beneficial in a Therapeutic Bet v 1 Mouse Model Mon, 23 Sep 2013 08:30:30 +0000 Background. Specific immunotherapy using recombinant allergens is clinically effective; still wild-type allergens can provoke treatment-induced side effects and often show poor immunogenicity in vivo. Thus, we tested the low IgE-binding, highly immunogenic fold variant BM4 in a Bet v 1 mouse model. Methods. Recombinant BM4 was used as active vaccine ingredient to treat mice sensitized to Bet v 1. As controls, mice were treated with either Bet v 1 or sham, and the humoral as well as cellular immune response was monitored. Moreover, lung function and lung inflammation were analysed. Results. BM4 was more effective than wild-type Bet v 1 in inducing Bet v 1-specific blocking antibodies as well as IFN-γ and IL-10 producing T cells. Further, birch pollen induced lung inflammation could be ameliorated significantly by BM4 treatment as demonstrated by a reduction of airway hyperresponsiveness and drastically decreased eosinophil counts in bronchoalveolar lavage fluids. Conclusion. The study outlines the high potential of BM4 as vaccine candidate for the treatment of Bet v 1-mediated birch pollen allergies. Ulrike Pichler, Claudia Asam, Richard Weiss, Almedina Isakovic, Michael Hauser, Peter Briza, Fatima Ferreira, and Michael Wallner Copyright © 2013 Ulrike Pichler et al. All rights reserved. IgE Sensitization to the Nonspecific Lipid-Transfer Protein Ara h 9 and Peanut-Associated Bronchospasm Thu, 12 Sep 2013 08:54:24 +0000 Allergen component analysis is now available in many laboratories. The aim of this study was to examine the possible association between peanut allergen IgE components and severity of clinical reactions in patients with a history of peanut allergy. Data and sera collected from 192 patients within the Manchester Allergy Research Database and Serum Bank were used in this retrospective study. Sensitization to peanut specific IgE and Ara h 1, 2, 3, and 8 peanut IgE components, as measured by fluoroenzyme immunoassay, was not associated with anaphylaxis. In contrast, sensitization to the lipid-transfer protein Ara h 9 was significantly more prevalent in patients with peanut-associated bronchospasm (26% versus 9% of patients), even after adjusting for potential confounding effects of age, gender, and severity of concomitant chronic atopic diseases. Patients who were sensitized to Ara h 9 were more likely to have ingested rather than just have had skin contact with peanut and have a more rapid onset of symptoms. These results are consistent with observations that sensitization to heat and protease resistant lipid-transfer protein components of hazelnut, grains, and fruit is predictive of anaphylaxis. Peter D. Arkwright, Colin W. Summers, Beverley J. Riley, Najla Alsediq, and Richard S. H. Pumphrey Copyright © 2013 Peter D. Arkwright et al. All rights reserved. Allergy or Tolerance: Reduced Inflammatory Cytokine Response and Concomitant IL-10 Production of Lymphocytes and Monocytes in Symptom-Free Titanium Dental Implant Patients Wed, 11 Sep 2013 11:07:42 +0000 Hypersensitivity reactions to titanium (Ti) are very rare. Thus, we assessed the proinflammatory response and also potential tolerance favoring in vitro reactivity of human blood lymphocytes and monocytes (PBMC) to Ti in healthy individuals (14 without, 6 with complication-free dental Ti implants). The proliferation index (SI) in lymphocyte transformation test (LTT) and production of cytokines linked to innate immune response (IL-1β, IL-6, and TNFα) or immune regulation (IL-10) were assessed in response to TiO2 particles or Ti discs. In both groups, the Ti-LTT reactivity was not enhanced (e.g., ). The control antigen tetanus toxoid (TT) gave adequate reactivity (median SI individuals without/with implant: /). Individuals without implant showed higher cytokine response to Ti materials than individuals with symptom-free implants; for example, TiO2 rutile particle induced increase of IL-1β 70.27-fold/8.49-fold versus control medium culture. PBMC of 5 of the 6 individuals with complication-free Ti implants showed an ex vivo ongoing production of IL-10 (mean  pg/mL)-but none of the 14 controls showed such IL-10 production. Thus in vitro IL-1β-, IL-6-, and TNF-α production reflects “normal” unspecific immune response to Ti. This might be reduced by production of tolerogenic IL-10 in individuals with symptom-free Ti dental implants. Peter Thomas, Gerhard Iglhaut, Andreas Wollenberg, Dieter Cadosch, and Burkhard Summer Copyright © 2013 Peter Thomas et al. All rights reserved. Is Health-Related Quality of Life Associated with Upper and Lower Airway Inflammation in Asthmatics? Sat, 31 Aug 2013 12:35:06 +0000 Background. Allergic diseases impair health-related quality of life (HR-QoL). However, the relationship between airway inflammation and HR-QoL in patients with asthma and rhinitis has not been fully investigated. We explored whether the inflammation of upper and lower airways is associated with HR-QoL. Methods. Twenty-two mild allergic asthmatics with concomitant rhinitis (10 males, 38 ± 17 years) were recruited. The Rhinasthma was used to identify HR-QoL, and the Asthma Control Test (ACT) was used to assess asthma control. Subjects underwent lung function and exhaled nitric oxide (eNO) test, collection of exhaled breath condensate (EBC), and nasal wash. Results. The Rhinasthma Global Summary score (GS) was 25 ± 11. No relationships were found between GS and markers of nasal allergic inflammation (% eosinophils: , ; ECP: , ) or bronchial inflammation (pH of the EBC: , ; bronchial NO: , ; alveolar NO: , ). The mean ACT score was 18. When subjects were divided into controlled (ACT ≥ 20) and uncontrolled (ACT < 20), the alveolar NO significantly correlated with GS in uncontrolled asthmatics (, ). Conclusions. Upper and lower airways inflammation appears unrelated to HR-QoL associated with respiratory symptoms. These preliminary findings suggest that, in uncontrolled asthma, peripheral airway inflammation could be responsible for impaired HR-QoL. Nicola Scichilone, Fulvio Braido, Salvatore Taormina, Elena Pozzecco, Alessandra Paternò, Ilaria Baiardini, Vincenzo Casolaro, Giorgio Walter Canonica, and Vincenzo Bellia Copyright © 2013 Nicola Scichilone et al. All rights reserved. Distal Airway Impairment in Obese Normoreactive Women Tue, 27 Aug 2013 08:57:26 +0000 Background. Asthma-like symptoms are frequent in overweight and obesity, but the mechanism is unclear when airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) is lacking. In this study, we focused on obese women with a clinical suspicion of asthma but negative methacholine challenge and tested distal airway hyperreactivity, explored by Forced Vital Capacity dose-response slope (FVC DRS). Objective. To question AHR at the distal airway level in obese women. Methods. A total of 293 symptomatic obese and nonobese women free of treatment were investigated. Methacholine challenge tests were undertaken, and patients were divided according to their results to the test. In hyperreactive and nonhyperreactive patients and in our total population, correlations, regression analyses, and analyses of covariance were performed to compare distal airway hyperreactivity in three groups of body mass index (BMI). Results. After adjusting for age and baseline respiratory values, the relationship between FVC and FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in one second) DRS was influenced by BMI, with a lower slope in obese than overweight and normal patients in our total population () and in our nonhyperreactive one (). Conclusion. Distal airway hyperresponsiveness was observed in symptomatic wheezing obese women negative to methacholine challenge. Grégory Marin, Anne Sophie Gamez, Nicolas Molinari, Djamila Kacimi, Isabelle Vachier, Fabrice Paganin, Pascal Chanez, and Arnaud Bourdin Copyright © 2013 Grégory Marin et al. All rights reserved. The Impact of Aspergillus fumigatus Viability and Sensitization to Its Allergens on the Murine Allergic Asthma Phenotype Mon, 26 Aug 2013 14:03:02 +0000 Aspergillus fumigatus is a ubiquitously present respiratory pathogen. The outcome of a pulmonary disease may vary significantly with fungal viability and host immune status. Our objective in this study was (1) to assess the ability of inhaled irradiation-killed or live A. fumigatus spores to induce allergic pulmonary disease and (2) to assess the extent to which inhaled dead or live A. fumigatus spores influence pulmonary symptoms in a previously established allergic state. Our newly developed fungal delivery apparatus allowed us to recapitulate human exposure through repeated inhalation of dry fungal spores in an animal model. We found that live A. fumigatus spore inhalation led to a significantly increased humoral response, pulmonary inflammation, and airway remodeling in naïve mice and is more likely to induce allergic asthma symptoms than the dead spores. In contrast, in allergic mice, inhalation of dead and live conidia recruited neutrophils and induced goblet cell metaplasia. This data suggests that asthma symptoms might be exacerbated by the inhalation of live or dead spores in individuals with established allergy to fungal antigens, although the extent of symptoms was less with dead spores. These results are likely to be important while considering fungal exposure assessment methods and for making informed therapeutic decisions for mold-associated diseases. Sumali Pandey, Scott A. Hoselton, and Jane M. Schuh Copyright © 2013 Sumali Pandey et al. All rights reserved. Characteristics of Atopic Bronchial Asthma in Seniors over 80 Years of Age Wed, 31 Jul 2013 09:05:24 +0000 Background. Asthma in the elderly is an important public health problem. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and characteristics of asthma in seniors. Materials and Methods. The study involved 105 people of at least 80 years of age (mean age of 84.1 ± 3.9 years) selected from a group of 1860 individuals. Spirometry, the methacholine test, allergy diagnosis, a measurement of exhaled nitric oxide, and administration of the asthma quality of life questionnaire (AQLQ) were performed. Results. The average morbidity of asthma in the study population of elderly people (at least 80 years of age) was 5.6% (105 people) of the confidence interval (95% CI: 5.1–6.0). In the study group, 34% of the elderly asthmatics had uncontrolled asthma, 47% had partly controlled asthma, and only 24% had fully controlled asthma. Allergy to house dust mites was predominant. The average total score on the AQLQ was 4.12 ± 0.72 (arithmetic mean ± standard deviation) for the seniors, which was significantly lower than the score for the young. Conclusion. The pathogenesis, natural history, and value of the basic diagnostic methods of asthma in the elderly are similar to those observed in younger age groups. Andrzej Bożek, Marek Filipowski, Andreas Fischer, and Jerzy Jarzab Copyright © 2013 Andrzej Bożek et al. All rights reserved. The Efficacy of Allergen Immunotherapy with Cat Dander in Reducing Symptoms in Clinical Practice Wed, 31 Jul 2013 07:53:22 +0000 Background. Allergy to cat dander is a common form of allergic disease. Allergen immunotherapy has been demonstrated to be effective in decreasing allergic symptoms. Objectives. To examine outcomes in allergic asthmatic patients on cat immunotherapy (CIT) compared to allergic asthmatics on traditional immunotherapy (IT) without cat sensitivity. Methods. A retrospective review identified allergic asthmatics on CIT for at least three years. An equal number of allergic asthmatics on IT were identified for comparison. Outcomes investigated include measurements of risk of asthma exacerbation. Results. Thirty-five patients were identified in each group. There were no differences in the CIT group versus the comparison group regarding total number of prednisone tapers (18 tapers versus 14 tapers, resp.), number of patients requiring prednisone tapers (10 patients versus 10 patients, resp.), total number of acute visits (29 visits versus 38 visits, resp.), and number of patients requiring acute visits (15 patients versus 21 patients, resp.). When stratified by concomitant ICS use, patients on CIT were less likely to require an acute visit (46% versus 78%, resp.). Conclusions. Allergic asthmatics with cat sensitivity on CIT with close dander exposure have similar risk of asthma exacerbation compared to allergic asthmatics without cat sensitivity on immunotherapy. Aerik A. Williams, John R. Cohn, Shirley M. Fung, and Patricia Padams Copyright © 2013 Aerik A. Williams et al. All rights reserved. Probiotics as Additives on Therapy in Allergic Airway Diseases: A Systematic Review of Benefits and Risks Mon, 15 Jul 2013 10:24:50 +0000 Background. We conducted a systematic review to find out the role of probiotics in treatment of allergic airway diseases.  Methods. A comprehensive search of the major electronic databases was done till March 2013. Trials comparing the effect of probiotics versus placebo were included. A predefined set of outcome measures were assessed. Continuous data were expressed as standardized mean difference with 95% CI. Dichotomous data were expressed as odds ratio with 95% CI. P value < 0.05 was considered as significant. Results. A total of 12 studies were included. Probiotic intake was associated with a significantly improved quality of life score in patients with allergic rhinitis (SMD −1.9 (95% CI −3.62, −0.19); P = 0.03), though there was a high degree of heterogeneity. No improvement in quality of life score was noted in asthmatics. Probiotic intake also improved the following parameters: longer time free from episodes of asthma and rhinitis and decrease in the number of episodes of rhinitis per year. Adverse events were not significant. Conclusion. As the current evidence was generated from few trials with high degree of heterogeneity, routine use of probiotics as an additive on therapy in subjects with allergic airway diseases cannot be recommended. Rashmi Ranjan Das, Sushree Samiksha Naik, and Meenu Singh Copyright © 2013 Rashmi Ranjan Das et al. All rights reserved. Bilastine: A New Nonsedating Oral H1 Antihistamine for Treatment of Allergic Rhinoconjunctivitis and Urticaria Sun, 14 Jul 2013 10:07:32 +0000 Bilastine is a new, well-tolerated, nonsedating H1 receptor antihistamine. In the fasting state bilastine is quickly absorbed, but the absorption is slowed when it is taken with food or fruit juice. Therefore, it is recommended that bilastine is taken at least one hour before and no sooner than two hours after a meal. Clinical studies sponsored by the manufacturer have shown that bilastine 20 mg once daily is as efficacious as other nonsedating antihistamines in allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and chronic urticaria in individuals from 12 and 18 years of age, respectively. Bilastine is efficacious in all nasal symptoms including obstruction and in eye symptoms. The observations indicate that non-sedating antihistamines, as opposed to what has been thought previously, may be helpful in patients with allergic rhinitis in whom nasal obstruction is a major concern. Current international guidelines need to be revised in the light of the recent evidence. Research into aspects of pharmacokinetics and efficacy and adverse effect profiles of bilastine in children under 12 years of age is needed as are dose-response assessments and studies planned rigorously with the aim of assessing quality of life effects. Ole D. Wolthers Copyright © 2013 Ole D. Wolthers. All rights reserved. The Presence of Asthma, the Use of Inhaled Steroids, and Parental Education Level Affect School Performance in Children Tue, 09 Jul 2013 14:45:35 +0000 Objective. Childhood asthma is a frequent cause of absenteeism that affects school performance. We aimed to investigate the impact of asthma on absenteeism and school performance level of elementary and high school students. Methods. Data about sociodemographics, absenteeism, and academic achievement were obtained from 1539 students attending 98 schools in Greece. School performance was assessed for the last two years of school attendance using parents’ and teachers’ reports and grade point average promotion. Results. The mean of the days of absence of students with asthma was higher compared to the healthy students (6.2 ± 11.7 versus 0.3 ± 3.1, resp., ). Students with reduced healthcare use presented less absenteeism than those with increased healthcare use for asthma (4.3 ± 8.6 versus 12.4 ± 17.0 days, resp., ). Asthma and healthcare use for asthma accounted for an overall estimated variability in absence days of 13.8% and 9%, respectively. Absenteeism was associated with poor school performance for the last two years of school () and with lower grade point promotion in elementary school students () but not in high school students (). Higher level of parental education was associated with better school performance (). Asthma was associated with a decreased possibility for excellent performance (OR = 0.64, , 95%CI = 0.41–1.00) in elementary students. Students with asthma using inhalers were four times more likely to perform excellently in elementary school (OR = 4.3, , 95%CI = 1.17–15.95) than their asthmatic peers with alternative asthma treatments. Conclusions. Asthma and increased healthcare use enhance school absenteeism. Inhaled steroid use and the higher parental education level were the most important predicting factors for good school performance in elementary school asthmatic children. A. Tsakiris, M. Iordanidou, E. Paraskakis, A. Tsalkidis, A. Rigas, S. Zimeras, C. Katsardis, and A. Chatzimichael Copyright © 2013 A. Tsakiris et al. All rights reserved. Digestibility and IgE-Binding of Glycosylated Codfish Parvalbumin Wed, 26 Jun 2013 14:07:24 +0000 Food-processing conditions may alter the allergenicity of food proteins by different means. In this study, the effect of the glycosylation as a result of thermal treatment on the digestibility and IgE-binding of codfish parvalbumin is investigated. Native and glycosylated parvalbumins were digested with pepsin at various conditions relevant for the gastrointestinal tract. Intact proteins and peptides were analysed for apparent molecular weight and IgE-binding. Glycosylation did not substantially affect the digestion. Although the peptides resulting from digestion were relatively large (3 and 4 kDa), the IgE-binding was strongly diminished. However, the glycosylated parvalbumin had a strong propensity to form dimers and tetramers, and these multimers bound IgE intensely, suggesting stronger IgE-binding than monomeric parvalbumin. We conclude that glycosylation of codfish parvalbumin does not affect the digestibility of parvalbumin and that the peptides resulting from this digestion show low IgE-binding, regardless of glycosylation. Glycosylation of parvalbumin leads to the formation of higher order structures that are more potent IgE binders than native, monomeric parvalbumin. Therefore, food-processing conditions applied to fish allergen can potentially lead to increased allergenicity, even while the protein’s digestibility is not affected by such processing. Harmen H. J. de Jongh, Carlos López Robles, Eefjan Timmerman, Julie A. Nordlee, Poi-Wah Lee, Joseph L. Baumert, Robert G. Hamilton, Steve L. Taylor, and Stef J. Koppelman Copyright © 2013 Harmen H. J. de Jongh et al. All rights reserved.