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Lancet. 1986 Jul 5;2(8497):13-5.

Does natural sensitisation in eczema occur through the skin?


The specificities of serum IgE for the faecal and body antigens of the house-dust mite, Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, were compared in 69 children with various combinations of asthma, eczema, and/or rhinitis. The concentration of IgE antibodies to the mite body was higher in those with eczema than in those with asthma, but the concentrations of IgE antibodies to the faecal allergen were not significantly different. The ratio of the serum concentration of anti-mite-body IgE to anti-faecal IgE was significantly greater in the children with eczema than in the children with asthma. The results in 4 subjects with rhinitis (2 with and 2 without eczema) support the view that IgE antibodies to the mite body are characteristic of eczema. Sensitisation to mite body and mite faecal particles may occur by different processes; the allergens of mite bodies may penetrate the skin, whereas faecal allergen may enter the body by other route(s).

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