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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1997 May;99(5):613-7.

Sensitization to hen's egg at the age of twelve months is predictive for allergic sensitization to common indoor and outdoor allergens at the age of three years.

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Department of Pediatrics, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.



Specific predictors for atopic sensitization in early infancy are prerequisites for preventive intervention studies.


To identify predictors of allergic sensitization to common aeroallergens in infancy, 1314 children in five German cities were followed up from birth (1990) to the age of 3 years.


Blood samples were taken from cord blood and at follow-up visits at the ages of 1, 2, and 3 years. Total serum IgE and specific IgE antibodies to common food and inhalant allergens were determined.


Among our study population, risk factors for sensitization to indoor and/or outdoor allergens at the age of 3 years were a positive family history, the presence of hen's egg-specific IgE antibodies (> or = 0.35 kU/L), and increased log- [total IgE] levels at the age of 12 months. Elevated cord blood IgE was not associated with sensitization to inhalant allergens at the age of 3 years. Egg-specific IgE greater than 2 kU/L in combination with a positive family history of atopy was a highly specific (specificity, 99%) and predictive (positive predictive value, 78%) marker for sensitization to inhalant allergens at 3 years of age.


Hen's egg-specific IgE at the age of 12 months is a valuable marker for subsequent allergic sensitization to allergens that cause asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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