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J Med Virol. 2019 Mar 13. doi: 10.1002/jmv.25455. [Epub ahead of print]

Rhinoviruses in infancy and risk of IgE sensitization.

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Department of Virology, Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.
Department of Dermatology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.
Allergy Centre, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.
Fimlab Laboratories Ltd, Department of Clinical Microbiology, 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, University of Tampere, 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 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 non-sensitized 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 case and control children were screened for the presence of rhinovirus, enterovirus, norovirus and parechovirus RNA by RT-qPCR. 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. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


Allergy; atopy; gender; sex; stool; virus


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