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J Med Virol. 2019 Aug;91(8):1470-1478. doi: 10.1002/jmv.25455. Epub 2019 Mar 25.

Rhinoviruses in infancy and risk of immunoglobulin E sensitization.

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Department of Virology, Faculty of Medical Sciences and Biotechnology, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland.
Department of Dermatology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.
Allergy Centre, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.
Department of Clinical Microbiology, Fimlab Laboratories Ltd, Tampere, Finland.
Children's Hospital, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.
Research Programs Unit, Diabetes and Obesity, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Research Unit, Seinäjoki Central Hospital and University of Tampere, Seinäjoki, Finland.
Faculty of Social Sciences, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland.
Immunogenetics Laboratory, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.
Department of Pediatrics, Jorvi Hospital, Helsinki University Hospital, Espoo, Finland.
Department of Pediatrics, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia.
Children's Clinic of Tartu University Hospital, Tartu, Estonia.
Folkhälsan Research Center, Helsinki, Finland.
Department of Pediatrics, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.


Previous data about the role of viruses in the development of allergic immunoglobulin E (IgE) sensitization are contradictory. The aim of this study was to determine the possible associations between exposure to different viruses (rhinovirus, enterovirus, norovirus, and parechovirus) during the first year of life and IgE sensitization. Viruses were analyzed from stool samples collected monthly from infants participating in a prospective birth cohort study. From that study, 244 IgE sensitized case children and 244 nonsensitized control children were identified based on their allergen-specific IgE antibody levels at the age of 6, 18, and 36 months. Stool samples (n = 4576) from the case and control children were screened for the presence of rhinovirus, enterovirus, norovirus, and parechovirus RNA by reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The study showed that rhinovirus was the most prevalent virus detected, present in 921 (20%) samples. None of the viruses were associated with IgE sensitization in the full cohort but after stratifying by sex, the number of rhinovirus positive samples was inversely associated with IgE sensitization in boys (odds ratio [OR]: 0.81; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.69-0.94; P = 0.006). There was also a temporal relation between rhinoviruses and IgE sensitization, as rhinovirus exposure during the first 6 months of life was associated with a reduced risk of subsequent IgE sensitization in boys (OR: 0.76; 95% CI: 0.6-0.94; P = 0.016). In conclusion, early exposure to rhinoviruses was inversely associated with IgE sensitization but this protective association was restricted to boys.


allergy; atopy; sex; stool; virus


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