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Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 1997 Aug;8(3):121-6.

Endotoxin exposure and symptoms in asthmatic children.

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Federal University of São Paulo, Paulista School of Medicine, Brazil.


Endotoxins (ET) are pro-inflammatory substances present in house dust which may increase non-specific bronchial reactivity in asthmatic patients. Endotoxins (EU/g) and Der p 1 levels were compared in the homes of ten asthmatic and ten control children, aged 6-16 years, living in São Paulo, Brazil. The houses were visited once a month from February 1993 to February 1994 and dust samples were collected from the bedding and floor of each subject's house. No significant differences were observed in ET and Der p 1 levels in the homes of asthmatics and controls. The highest ET levels were detected in January and November, whereas the lowest levels were detected in April and August (p < 0.05), demonstrating a distinct seasonal distribution. The highest Der p 1 levels in bedding were observed in July and the lowest in February (p < 0.05), while Der p 1 levels in floor did not show significant differences throughout the year. Symptom and medication scores were evaluated monthly in the group of asthmatic children. There was a significant correlation (p < 0.05, r = 0.63) between clinical symptom scores and ET exposure, however no significant correlation was found for mite exposure (p > 0.05, r = 0.19). The results suggest that ET exposure exacerbates asthmatic symptoms in mite allergic, asthmatic children.

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