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Asian Pac J Allergy Immunol. 2010 Mar;28(1):1-6.

A survey of serum specific-lgE to common allergens in primary school children of Taipei City.

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Department of Pediatrics, Taipei City Hospital, Renal Branch, Taiwan.


Environmental factors and eating habits have had a significant impact on the increased sensitization to allergens in children. This study investigated changes in common allergen sensitivities among children in Taipei City, Taiwan. A total of 142 primary schools in Taipei City, which included 25,094 students aged 7-8 years, were surveyed using an ISAAC questionnaire to screen for allergies. For positive responders, serum allergen-specific IgE was confirmed using the Pharmacia CAP system. A total of 1,500 students (5.98%) had confirmed sensitivities to allergens. Dust mite sensitivity among these children was nearly 90%. The prevalences of sensitivities to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, D. farinae and Blomia tropicalis were 90.79%, 88.24%, and 84.63%, respectively. Dog dander (29.95%) was the second most common aeroallergen to induce sensitivity. Allergies to cat dander (8.69%) and to cockroach (15.48%) had decreased dramatically compared with previous analyses. Among the food allergens studied, the most common allergens that induced sensitization were (in order of prevalence) crab, milk, egg white, and shrimp (88.08%, 22.45%, 24.23%, and 21.44%, respectively). Mold and pollen sensitization was identified in fewer than 2% of the schoolchildren. Dust mites remain the most common allergen to induce allergic sensitization among children in Taipei City, while cockroach and mold sensitivities have dramatically declined. Food allergens should also be considered as a trigger of respiratory allergy. Except for dust mites, American cockroach and crab, allergens commonly reported to induce sensitization in other Asian counties are not common in Taiwan.

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