Background: Allergy and helminth infections share key immunological features in terms of Th2 responses. Although in industrialized countries clustering of allergic disorders within families has been frequently reported, such information is lacking from areas where helminth infections are endemic. Methods: A total of 466 subjects from 29 families and 112 households participated in this study. Filarial infection, skin test reactivity and IgE to mite as well as total IgE were measured in all samples. Clustering of the allergy-related outcomes due to genetic and household factors was tested. Results: Genetic factors contributed significantly to the clustering of total IgE and allergen-specific IgE, whereas only household factors contributed to the clustering of SPT positivity. Conclusion: Similar to several studies conducted in western populations, total IgE and allergen-specific IgE are influenced by genetic factors in a population resident in a helminth endemic area. However, clustering of SPT positivity due to genetic factors was not significant in the current study raising the question of whether the presence of helminth infections may override genes that are associated with the expression of tissue reactivity to allergens in the west.
- Clustering of allergy
- Skin prick test