Prevalence and profile of aeroallergen sensitivity in patients tested at St. Vincent’s University Hospital

Title: Prevalence and profile of aeroallergen sensitivity in patients tested at St. Vincent’s University Hospital
Author(s): F Helly E Dunican E Wallace
Institution: St Vincent's University Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4.
Poster: Click to view poster
Category: Miscellaneous
Abstract: Allergic disease has become more common with manifestations including asthma, rhinitis, eczema, food intolerance and anaphylaxis. Ireland has one of the highest rates of allergic asthma internationally and identifying aeroallergens may help improve symptom control (1,2). IgE sensitization testing when used in combination with a comprehensive allergy history can be used in this identification [3]. To date there is no published data on the prevalence of sensitization to aeroallergens in Ireland.

We sampled the population of patients that had specific IgE to aeroallergens at St Vincent’s University Hospital (SVUH) and compared our results to the Specific IgE data available for the NHANES cohort [4].

From January to April 2019, 1,830 RAST specific IgE to inhaled allergens tests were performed in SVUH, of which 344 (19%) were positive (>0.35 IU/L). NHANES reported positivity of 44.6% in their population.

At SVUH, specific IgE to house dust mite was the most commonly performed (18.6%), followed by cat dander (16.9%), dog dander (16.8%), grass mix (16.1%) and Aspergillus (15.2%). The least commonly tested were weed mix (1.3%), silver birch (1.2%), and moulds (0.9%).

Comparing the positivity between SVUH and the NHANES, similar positivity was found for cat (14.2% vs 13%) and dog (13.7% vs 12%), while differences were found for house dust mite (36.4% vs 18.5), grass mix (26.9% vs 16.8%,) and aspergillus (9.3% vs 6.5%).

In conclusion, positivity to aeroallergens was lower at SVUH compared to the NHANES epidemiologic cohort. However, similarities in positivity were found for some indoor allergens between both populations.


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3. Roberts G, Ollert M, Aalberse R, et al. A new framework for the interpretation of IgE sensitization tests. Allergy. 2016;71(11):1540-1551. doi:10.1111/all.12939

4. Salo PM, Arbes SJ Jr, Jaramillo R, et al. Prevalence of allergic sensitization in the United States: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005-2006. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014;134(2):350-359. doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2013.12.1071