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Ann Allergy. 1994 Nov;73(5):450-4.

Pertussis infection and allergic sensitization.

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GSF-Forschungszentrum fuer Umwelt und Gesundheit, Institut fuer Epidemiologie, Neuherberg, Germany.



The immunogenic activity of B. pertussis infection has been described in various laboratory, animal, and clinical studies. There is, however, no information on the impact of pertussis on allergies in the total population.


To compare the prevalence of allergic sensitization and allergic rhinitis in children with and without previous pertussis infection.


A population-based, cross-sectional study was carried out on 13,937 10-year-old children in the western (Munich and Southern Bavaria) and eastern parts of Germany (Leipzig and the region around Halle). A total of 11,969 questionnaires (85.9%) given to the parents were collected. Data from 9,484 German children (questionnaire and skin prick tests with six different allergens) were analyzed.


Pertussis was much more common in the western than in the eastern part of Germany. The adjusted odds ratio for any allergic sensitization after pertussis was only slightly increased in western Germany with 1.3 (95% confidence limits 1.2 to 1.5) and in eastern Germany with 1.5, (1.2 to 1.8) but not for allergic rhinitis with 1.0 (0.7 to 1.4) and in Eastern Germany 1.3 (0.8 to 1.9).


Infection with pertussis seems to have only a weak influence on allergic sensitization and does not explain the observed differences in allergic sensitization between western and eastern Germany.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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