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Correlation of Blomia tropicalis -specific immunoglobulin epsilon profiles with family history of atopy in a Filipino population.

BACKGROUND: House dust mites are the major source of indoor allergens in the tropical and subtropical regions with Blomia tropicalis (Bt) allergens as one of the leading causative agents of sensitization among patients from the tropics. Despite the clinical importance of Bt in various populations, its allergenicity remains unclear among Filipino allergic patients.

OBJECTIVE: This study determined the sensitization profiles of allergic Filipinos against Bt allergens and its correlation with atopy.

METHODS: Total immunoglobulin epsilon (IgE) (n = 960), Bt-specific IgE (n = 247), and Blomia tropicalis 5 (Blo t 5)-specific IgE (n = 87) profiles of allergic and nonallergic subjects were measured through enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Point-biserial correlation coefficient was used to determine the association between Bt-specific IgE levels and selected demographics. Inhibition ELISA was performed to measure the inhibition capacity of recombinant Blo t 5 (rBlo t 5) against Bt allergen extracts.

RESULTS: Mean total IgE levels of allergic cases (n = 171) were significantly higher ( P < 0.001) compared to the mean IgE levels of nonallergic controls (n = 76). Among allergic subjects, 58% were sensitized to Blo t extract and 80% of which were sensitized to rBlo t 5 allergen. A positive correlation was observed between Bt-specific IgE and family history of atopic disease ( P = 0.031). Inhibition assay revealed that 54% mean reactivity of 7 plasma samples was caused by rBlo t 5, validating that rBlo t 5 is a major allergen in Bt.

CONCLUSIONS: This study has shown the importance of Bt as an allergen source that sensitizes atopic Filipino subjects. Hence, inclusion of Bt allergen extract and rBlo t 5 in the panel for allergy diagnosis and immunotherapy in Filipino populations is strongly recommended.

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