Mouse allergen exposure and immunologic responses: IgE-mediated mouse sensitization and mouse specific IgG and IgG4 levels

Elizabeth C. Matsui, Esmeralda J. M. Krop, Gregory B. Diette, Rob C. Aalberse, Abigail L. Smith, Peyton A. Eggleston

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Although there is evidence that contact with mice is associated with IgE-mediated mouse sensitization and mouse specific antibody responses, the exposure-response relationships remain unclear. To determine whether IgE-mediated mouse sensitization and mouse specific IgG (mIgG) and mIgG4 levels increase with increasing Mus m 1 exposure. One hundred fifty-one workers at a mouse research and production facility were studied. Exposure assignments were made by linking participants to airborne Mus m 1 concentrations in their respective work areas. Cumulative exposure was estimated by multiplying airborne Mus m 1 concentration by duration of employment. Serum mIgG and mIgG4 levels were quantified by antigen-binding assays, and IgE-mediated mouse sensitization was evaluated by skin prick testing (SPT). Prevalence rates of mouse SPT sensitivity and of high levels of mIgG and mIgG4 were increasingly higher by quintiles of increasing cumulative exposure (P < .01 for SPT, mIgG, and mIgG4). After adjusting for age, sex, and atopy, the log odds ratio (OR) of having positive mouse SPT results was linearly related to cumulative exposure (r2 = 0.87), as was the log OR of having a high mIgG level (r2 = 0.86). Quintile of cumulative exposure was an independent predictor of both SPT sensitivity (OR, 1.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-2.5) and a high mIgG level (OR, 1.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-2.4). IgE-mediated mouse sensitization and mIgG and mIgG4 levels were related to cumulative exposure in a dose-dependent manner. Thus, strategies to prevent allergy to mice should remain focused on reducing mouse allergen exposure
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-178
JournalAnnals of allergy, asthma & immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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