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Microarray Technology May Reveal the Contribution of Allergen Exposure and Rhinovirus Infections as Possible Triggers for Acute Wheezing Attacks in Preschool Children

Niespodziana K, Stenberg-Hammar K, Papadopoulos NG, Focke-Tejkl M, Errhalt P, Konradsen JR, Söderhäll C, van Hage M, Hedlin G, Valenta R. Viruses. 2021 May 15;13(5):915.

doi: 10.3390/v13050915


Allergen exposure and rhinovirus (RV) infections are common triggers of acute wheezing exacerbations in early childhood. The identification of such trigger factors is difficult but may have therapeutic implications. Increases of IgE and IgG in sera, were shown against allergens and the N-terminal portion of the VP1 proteins of RV species, respectively, several weeks after allergen exposure or RV infection. Hence, increases in VP1-specific IgG and in allergen-specific IgE may serve as biomarkers for RV infections or allergen exposure. The MeDALL-allergen chip containing comprehensive panels of allergens and the PreDicta RV chip equipped with VP1-derived peptides, representative of three genetic RV species, were used to measure allergen-specific IgE levels and RV-species-specific IgG levels in sera obtained from 120 preschool children at the time of an acute wheezing attack and convalescence. Nearly 20% of the children (22/120) showed specific IgE sensitizations to at least one of the allergen molecules on the MeDALL chip. For 87% of the children, increases in RV-specific IgG could be detected in the follow-up sera. This percentage of RV-specific IgG increases was equal in IgE-positive and -negative children. In 10% of the children, increases or de novo appearances of IgE sensitizations indicative of allergen exposure could be detected. Our results suggest that, in the majority of preschool children, RV infections trigger wheezing attacks, but, in addition, allergen exposure seems to play a role as a trigger factor. RV-induced wheezing attacks occur in IgE-sensitized and non-IgE-sensitized children, indicating that allergic sensitization is not a prerequisite for RV-induced wheeze.



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