Mold and Alternaria skin test reactivity and asthma in children in Connecticut
ABSTRACT Sensitivity to mold has been associated with asthma incidence, persistence, and severity.
To examine the relationship between skin test reactivity (STR) to molds and specifically to Alternaria and asthma severity in a group of ethnically diverse children in Connecticut.
Demographics and STR to 14 local allergens, including Alternaria, Penicillium, and mold mix, were obtained for 914 Puerto Rican, African American, and non-Hispanic white children.
A total of 126 children (14%) had a positive skin test result to mold, and 58 (6%) demonstrated STR to Alternaria. Compared with non-Hispanic white children, there was no difference in the likelihood of being sensitized to Alternaria for Puerto Rican and African American children (odds ratio [OR], 0.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.3-1.5; and OR, 0.9; 95% CI, 0.4-2.2; respectively). In an adjusted analysis, Alternaria STR was associated with severe, persistent asthma (OR, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.2-8.6) but did not predict increasing asthma severity. STR to cat (OR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.3-4.9) and dog (OR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.3-6.0) was also associated with severe persistent asthma. Alternaria STR was associated with severe persistent asthma independent of the total number of positive skin test results.
Mold and Alternaria STR were uncommon among children in Connecticut. Alternaria STR was not associated with increasing asthma severity but was associated with severe, persistent asthma independent of the total number of positive skin test results. There was no association between ethnicity and Alternaria STR.
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ABSTRACT: The fungal allergen, Alternaria, is specifically associated with severe asthma, including life-threatening exacerbations. To better understand the acute innate airway response to Alternaria, naive wild-type (WT) mice were challenged once intranasally with Alternaria. Naive WT mice developed significant bronchoalveolar lavage eosinophilia following Alternaria challenge when analyzed 24 h later. In contrast to Alternaria, neither Aspergillus nor Candida induced bronchoalveolar lavage eosinophilia. Gene microarray analysis of airway epithelial cell brushings demonstrated that Alternaria-challenged naive WT mice had a >20-fold increase in the level of expression of found in inflammatory zone 1 (FIZZ1/Retnla), a resistin-like molecule. Lung immunostaining confirmed strong airway epithelial FIZZ1 expression as early as 3 h after a single Alternaria challenge that persisted for ≥5 d and was significantly reduced in STAT6-deficient, but not protease-activated receptor 2-deficient mice. Bone marrow chimera studies revealed that STAT6 expressed in lung cells was required for epithelial FIZZ1 expression, whereas STAT6 present in bone marrow-derived cells contributed to airway eosinophilia. Studies investigating which cells in the nonchallenged lung bind FIZZ1 demonstrated that CD45(+)CD11c(+) cells (macrophages and dendritic cells), as well as collagen-1-producing CD45(-) cells (fibroblasts), can bind to FIZZ1. Importantly, direct administration of recombinant FIZZ1 to naive WT mice led to airway eosinophilia, peribronchial fibrosis, and increased thickness of the airway epithelium. Thus, Alternaria induces STAT6-dependent acute airway eosinophilia and epithelial FIZZ1 expression that promotes airway fibrosis and epithelial thickness. This may provide some insight into the uniquely pathogenic aspects of Alternaria-associated asthma.The Journal of Immunology 03/2012; 188(6):2622-9. DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.1101632 · 5.36 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Asthma exacerbations can be caused by a number of factors, including the fungal allergen Alternaria, which is specifically associated with severe and near-fatal attacks. The mechanisms that trigger lung responses are unclear and might vary between allergens. A comparison between Alternaria, Aspergillus, Candida, and house dust mite, all allergens in humans, showed that only Alternaria promoted immediate innate airway eosinophilia within 12 h of inhalation in nonsensitized mice. Alternaria, but not the other allergens, induced a rapid increase in airway levels of IL-33, accompanied by IL-33 receptor (IL-33R)-positive natural helper cell (NHC) production of IL-5 and IL-13. NHCs in the lung and bone marrow constitutively expressed transcription factors [GATA-3 and E26 transformation-specific sequence-1 (ETS-1)] that could allow for rapid induction of T helper type 2 (Th2) cytokines. Lung NHC numbers and proliferation (%Ki-67), but not IL-5 or GATA-3 expression, were significantly reduced in STAT6-deficient mice 3 days after one challenge with Alternaria. Alternaria induced NHC expression of the EGF receptor ligand amphiregulin (partially dependent on STAT6), as well as EGF receptor signaling in the airway epithelium. Finally, human peripheral blood NHCs (CRTH2(+)CD127(+) lineage-negative lymphocytes) from allergic individuals highly expressed GATA-3 and ETS-1, similar to lung NHCs in mice. In summary, Alternaria-induced lung NHC proliferation and expression of amphiregulin are regulated by STAT6. In addition, NHCs in mouse and humans are primed to express Th2 cytokines through constitutive expression of GATA-3 and ETS-1. Thus several transcription factor pathways (STAT6, GATA-3, and ETS-1) may contribute to NHC proliferation and Th2-type responses in Alternaria-induced asthma.AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 08/2012; 303(7):L577-88. DOI:10.1152/ajplung.00174.2012 · 4.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Atopy varies by ethnicity, even within Latino groups. This variation might be due to environmental, sociocultural, or genetic factors. OBJECTIVE: We sought to examine risk factors for atopy within a nationwide study of US Latino children with and without asthma. METHODS: Aeroallergen skin test responses were analyzed in 1830 US Latino subjects. Key determinants of atopy included country/region of origin, generation in the United States, acculturation, genetic ancestry, and site to which subjects migrated. Serial multivariate zero-inflated negative binomial regressions stratified by asthma status examined the association of each key determinant variable with the number of positive skin test responses. In addition, the independent effect of each key variable was determined by including all key variables in the final models. RESULTS: In baseline analyses African ancestry was associated with 3 times (95% CI, 1.62-5.57) as many positive skin test responses in asthmatic participants and 3.26 times (95% CI, 1.02-10.39) as many positive skin test responses in control participants. Generation and recruitment site were also associated with atopy in crude models. In final models adjusted for key variables, asthmatic patients of Puerto Rican (exp[β] [95% CI], 1.31 [1.02-1.69]) and mixed (exp[β] [95% CI], 1.27 [1.03-1.56]) ethnicity had a greater probability of positive skin test responses compared with Mexican asthmatic patients. Ancestry associations were abrogated by recruitment site but not region of origin. CONCLUSIONS: Puerto Rican ethnicity and mixed origin were associated with degree of atopy within US Latino children with asthma. African ancestry was not associated with degree of atopy after adjusting for recruitment site. Local environment variation, represented by site, was associated with degree of sensitization.The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 05/2013; 132(4). DOI:10.1016/j.jaci.2013.02.046 · 11.25 Impact Factor