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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013 Mar;131(3):781-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2012.11.048. Epub 2013 Jan 16.

Atopic sensitization in the first year of life.

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  • 1University Children's Hospital, Munich, Germany (Member of German Center for Lung Research).



There is conflicting evidence on whether allergen-specific memory is primed prenatally, whether this priming affects persistent immunologic effects, and whether it is modulated by the first environmental exposures in infancy.


We sought to explore the course of atopic sensitization between birth and 12 months of age.


Specific IgE levels for 6 food and 13 common inhalant allergens were assessed in cord blood and 1-year blood samples in the Protection against Allergy-Study in Rural Environments (PASTURE) birth cohort including 793 children from rural regions of 5 European countries. Detailed information on children's health, nutrition, and farm-related exposures was gathered by using a pregnancy questionnaire, 2 questionnaires at 2 and 12 months of age, and a diary covering the time in between.


Sensitization was more common at 12 months of age than at birth for almost all specificities. On an individual level, persistent sensitization to the same allergens was rare (1%), whereas transient (only at birth, 11%) and incident (only at 12 months, 34%) sensitization was seen in substantial proportions of children. Associations of transient sensitization with maternal sensitization differed with the allergen specificities, with the strongest associations for food allergens (odds ratio [OR], 10.6; 95% CI, 6.0-18.6) and the weakest associations for seasonal allergens (OR, 1.64; 95% CI, 0.94-2.86). Associations of maternal sensitization with incident sensitization were also seen. Incident sensitization was related to distinct prenatal and postnatal environmental exposures of mother and child, such as consumption of cereals for incident sensitization to seasonal allergens (OR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.50-0.88).


IgE sensitization patterns change between birth and 12 months and are related to maternal and environmental influences.

Copyright © 2013 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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