Skin tests, T cell responses and self-reported symptoms in children with allergic rhinitis and asthma due to house dust mite allergy

H Moed, R Gerth van Wijk, J C de Jongste, J C van der Wouden

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6 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: In allergic responses, a distinction is made between an early-phase response, several minutes after allergen exposure, and a late-phase response after several hours. During the late phase, eosinophils and T cells infiltrate the mucosa and play an important role in inflammation.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between allergen-induced late-phase skin responses and in vitro T cell reactivity. In addition, the relationship between allergen-induced skin or T cell responses and the severity of self-reported symptoms was studied in children with house dust mite allergy.

METHODS: A total of 59 house dust mite-allergic children (6-18 years) were recruited in general practice. These children or their parents rated their nasal and asthma symptoms on diary cards during 1 month. Allergen skin tests were performed and read after 15 min (early phase) and 6 h (late phase). Allergen-specific T cell proliferation was determined, and Th2 cytokine (IL-5 and IL-13) secretion was analysed.

RESULTS: The size of the late-phase skin response correlated with in vitro T cell proliferation (r(s)=0.38, P=0.003) but not with Th2 cytokine secretion (r(s)=0.16, P=0.2 for both IL-5 and IL-13). Moreover, the late-phase skin response and T cell proliferation correlated with asthma symptoms (r(s)=0.30, P=0.02 for skin response and r(s)=0.28, P=0.03 for T cell proliferation) but not with nasal symptoms (r(s)=0.19, P=0.15 for skin response and r(s)=0.09, P=0.52 for T cell proliferation). The early-phase skin response correlated with the nasal symptom score (r(s)=0.34, P=0.01) but not with asthma symptom scores (r(s)<0.005, P=0.97).

CONCLUSION: In this study, the late-phase skin test response correlated with in vitro T cell proliferation but not with Th2 cytokine secretion. We found weak or no correlations between late-phase skin responses and symptoms of asthma or rhinitis in children with house dust mite allergy. This suggests that late-phase skin responses reflect certain T cell properties but are of limited value for the evaluation of airway symptoms in atopic children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-7
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and experimental allergy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


  • Adolescent
  • Animals
  • Asthma/diagnosis
  • Breath Tests
  • Child
  • Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus/immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Delayed/immunology
  • Interleukin-13/metabolism
  • Interleukin-5/metabolism
  • Lymphocyte Activation/immunology
  • Male
  • Medical Records
  • Nitric Oxide/analysis
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial/diagnosis
  • Skin Tests
  • T-Lymphocytes/immunology

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