INTRODUCTION: Strongyloidiasis is one of the most commonly neglected but clinically important parasitic infections worldwide, especially among immunocompromised patients. Evidence of infection among immunocompromised patients in Malaysia is, however, lacking. In this study, microscopy, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) were used to detect Strongyloides stercoralis (S. stercoralis) infection among cancer patients in a Malaysian hospital.
METHODS: A total of 192 stool and serum samples were collected from cancer patients who were receiving chemotherapy with or without steroid treatment at a hospital in northeastern Malaysia. Stool samples were examined for S. stercoralis using parasitological methods and real-time PCR. Serology by ELISA was performed to detect parasite-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgG4 and immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. For comparison, IgG4- and IgG-ELISAs were also performed on the sera of 150 healthy individuals from the same area.
RESULTS: Of the 192 samples examined, 1 (0.5%) sample was positive for S. stercoralis by microscopy, 3 (1.6%) by real-time PCR, 8 (4.2%) by IgG-ELISA, 6 (3.1%) by IgG4-ELISA, and none was positive by IgE-ELISA. In comparison, healthy blood donors had significantly lower prevalence of parasite-specific IgG (2.67%, p < 0.05) and IgG4 (2.67%, p < 0.05) responses.
CONCLUSION: This study showed that laboratory testing may be considered as a diagnostic investigation for S. stercoralis among immunocompromised cancer patients.
Current understanding of the use of exclusion diets in the management of asthma in children is limited and controversial. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of excluding eggs and milk on the occurrence of symptoms in children with asthma and involved 22 children aged between three and 14 years clinically diagnosed as having mild to moderate disease. The investigation was single blind and prospective, and parents were given the option of volunteering to join the 'experiment' group, avoiding eggs, milk and their products for eight weeks, or the 'control' group, who consumed their customary food. Thirteen children were recruited to the experimental group and nine to the control group. A trained paediatrician at the beginning and end of the study period assessed the children. A seven-day assessment of food intake was made before, during and immediately after the period of dietary intervention in both groups. A blood sample was taken from each child for determination of food specific antibodies and in those children who could do so, the peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) was measured. Based on the recommended nutrient intake (RNI), the mean percentage energy intake of the children in the experimental group was significantly lower (p < 0.05) in the experimental group. After the eight-week study period and compared with baseline values, the mean serum anti-ovalbumin IgG and anti-beta lactoglobulin IgG concentrations were statistically significantly reduced (p < 0.05) for both in the experimental group. In contrast, the values for anti-ovalbumin IgG in the control group were significantly increased and those for anti-beta lactoglobulin IgG were practically unchanged. The total IgE values were unchanged in both groups. Over the study period, the PEFR in those children in the experimental group able to perform the test was significantly increased, but no such change was noted in the children in the control group who could do the test. These results suggest that even over the short time period of eight weeks, an egg- and milk-free diet can reduce atopic symptoms and improve lung function in asthmatic children.
Study site: Outpatient Department, Royal County Hospital and the Frimley Children’s Centre, United Kingdom
BACKGROUND: The house dust mites Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Der p) and Blomia tropicalis (Blo t) are the most common house dust mite species in Southeast Asia. To date, there have only been a few studies on the sensitization profile of the general populations in Southeast Asia to house dust mites. The aim of this study was to determine the profiles of Der p and Blo t sensitization among Singaporean and Malaysian subjects.
METHODS: Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to detect specific IgE to Der p and Blo t mite crude extracts as well as purified Der p 1, Der p 2 and Blo t 5 allergens. Sera used were from 229 Singaporean subjects (124 with rhinitis, 105 without rhinitis) and 143 Malaysian subjects (94 adults and 49 children with asthma).
RESULTS: The sensitization profile of rhinitis subjects to the dust mite allergens used in this study was as follows: Blo t extract positive: 91/124 (73%); Blo t 5 positive: 62/124 (50%); Der p extract positive: 61/124 (49%); Der p 1 positive: 53/124 (43%); Der p 2 positive: 45/124 (36%). The nonrhinitis subjects' sensitization profile was as follows: Blo t extract positive: 60/105 (57%); Blo t 5 positive: 24/105 (23%); Der p extract positive: 38/105 (36%); Der p 1 positive: 14/105 (13%); Der p 2 positive: 17/105 (16%). The study of Malaysian asthmatic adults showed that 39% of them were sensitized to Der p 1, 32% to Der p 2 and 37% to Blo t 5. Among the asthmatic children, sensitization to Blo t 5, Der p 1 and Der p 2 was 90, 57 and 39%, respectively.
CONCLUSION: This study clearly revealed that dual sensitization to B. tropicalis and D. pteronyssinus is common in the general populations of Singapore and Malaysia. Sensitization to Blo t 5 is more prevalent than to Der p 1 and Der p 2.
The significance of food specific serum IgG4 antibody in food allergy is unclear and this led us to investigate the relevance of specific IgG4, along with IgG and IgE antibodies to two common food allergens in Malaysia. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to measure the serum antibodies in 143 allergic rhinitis patients' sera, of which 47 were from patients with clinical indication of shrimp allergy, 46 with clinical indication of crab allergy and 50 without indication to either allergy. Clinical indication of allergy was based on answers to a questionnaire or results of the skin prick test. We found that the elevation of specific IgE or IgG4 is associated with shrimp and crab allergies but elevation of specific IgG is not associated with either allergy. However, the clinical utility of elevated specific IgG and IgG4 levels is pending further investigation.
Study site: Allergic rhinitis clinic, University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Hevea brasiliensis latex serum is commonly used as the in vivo and in vitro reference antigen for latex allergy diagnosis as it contains the full complement of latex allergens.
This study quantifies the concentrations of the significant allergens in latex serum and examines its suitability as an antigen source in latex allergy diagnosis and immunotherapy.
The serum phase was extracted from centrifuged latex that was repeatedly freeze-thawed or glycerinated. Quantitation of latex allergens was performed by two-site immunoenzymetric assays. The abundance of RNA transcripts of the latex allergens was estimated from the number of their clones in an Expressed Sequence Tags library.
The latex allergens, Hev b 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 13, were detected in freeze-thawed and glycerinated latex serum at levels ranging from 75 (Hev b 6) to 0.06 nmol/mg total proteins (Hev b 4). Hev b 6 content in the latex was up to a thousand times higher than the other seven latex allergens, depending on source and/or preparation procedure. Allergen concentration was reflected in the abundance of mRNA transcripts. When used as the antigen, latex serum may bias the outcome of latex allergy diagnostic tests towards sensitization to Hev b 6. Tests that make use of latex serum may fail to detect latex-specific IgE reactivity in subjects who are sensitized only to allergens that are present at low concentrations.
Latex allergy diagnostics and immunotherapy that use whole latex serum as the antigen source may not be optimal because of the marked imbalance of its constituent allergens.
Six Hevea brasiliensis latex protein allergens, Hevb 1, Hev b 2, Hev b 3, Hev b 4, and two variants of Hev b 7 (7b and 7c), were purified from Hevea latex, while a seventh protein, Hev b 5, was prepared in recombinant form. The presence of these proteins in glove extracts was indicated by their respective antibodies in the serum of rabbits immunized against the extracts. The relative propensities of IgE binding to the individual latex allergens were compared using sera from latex-allergic patients. IgE recognition of Hev b 4, Hev b 7b, Hev b 5 and Hev b 2 was most frequently encountered, with 75, 61, 31 and 28%, respectively, of the patient sera reacting. Sensitivity to multiple latex proteins was common, and out of the 31 seropositive patients, 23 (74%/ ) had IgE against at least two latex allergens, while 12 (39%) had IgE specific for at least three allergens. Statistical analysis of the data suggested that many patients might have acquired sensitivity to Hev b 2, Hev b 4 and Hev b 7b from a common source. (e.g., from latex products). On the other hand, sensitivity to Hev b 5 and to Hev b 7c were interrelated. It is plausible that sensitivity to these two proteins might have been acquired from sources other than latex products (e.g., from certain foods).
The aim of this study was to identify the major allergens of wildflower honey in local patients with atopic disease. SDS-PAGE revealed ten protein bands of 25 to 110 kDa, with a heavy cluster in region of 40-75 kDa. Immunoblotting demonstrated seven IgE-binding bands of 39 to 110 kDa. The 60 kDa protein had the highest frequency of IgE-binding (100%) followed by 54 kDa protein (95%), thus identified as the major allergens of wildflowerhoney. Our findings indicate that the allergen extract used for diagnosis of honey allergy contains both the 54 kDa and 60 kDa proteins.
Cord IgE and ECP levels are major atopic markers implicated in early childhood allergy development. Most epidemiological studies to date have not utilised current technology to establish baseline cord IgE levels, further aggravated by lack of data in this region. This study also attempts to identify a relationship between cord IgE and ECP levels as a mean to improve sensitivity for early prediction of atopy.
The longtail tuna (Thunnus tonggol) is widely consumed in Asia. Parvalbumin, the main major allergen of fish, has been well identified in multiple fish species, yet little is known about the allergenic proteins in T. tonggol. Thus, the aim of this study was to characterize the major allergens of T. tonggol using a proteomics approach.
Asthma is associated with increased pulmonary inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness. The interaction between airway epithelium and inflammatory mediators plays a key role in the pathogenesis of asthma. In vitro studies evaluated the inhibitory effects of 3-(2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-1-(5-methylfuran-2-yl)prop-2-en-1-one (DMPF-1), a synthetic chalcone analogue, upon inflammation in the A549 lung epithelial cell line. DMPF-1 selectively inhibited TNF-α-stimulated CC chemokine secretion (RANTES, eotaxin-1, and MCP-1) without any effect upon CXC chemokine (GRO-α and IL-8) secretion. Western blot analysis further demonstrated that the inhibitory activity resulted from disruption of p65NF-κB nuclear translocation without any effects on the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. Treatment of ovalbumin-sensitized and ovalbumin-challenged BALB/c mice with DMPF-1 (0.2-100 mg/kg) demonstrated significant reduction in the secretion and gene expression of CC chemokines (RANTES, eotaxin-1, and MCP-1) and Th2 cytokines (IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13). Furthermore, DMPF-1 treatment inhibited eosinophilia, goblet cell hyperplasia, peripheral blood total IgE, and airway hyperresponsiveness in ovalbumin-sensitized and ovalbumin-challenged mice. In conclusion, these findings demonstrate the potential of DMPF-1, a nonsteroidal compound, as an antiasthmatic agent for further pharmacological evaluation.
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) were developed for the detection of IgG, IgG4 and IgE antibodies against Strongyloides stercoralis. A commercial ELISA (IVD Research, USA) was also used, and the sensitivities and specificities of the four assays were determined. Serum samples from 26 patients with S. stercoralis infection and 55 patients with other infections or no infection were analysed. Sensitivities of the IgG4 , IgG, IgE and IgG (IVD) assays were 76.9%, 84.6%, 7.7% and 84.6%, respectively, while the specificities were 92.7%, 81.8%, 100% and 83.6%, respectively. If filariasis samples were excluded, the specificities of the IgG4 -ELISA and both IgG-ELISAs increased to 100% and 98%, respectively. A significant positive correlation was observed between IgG- and IgG4 -ELISAs (r = 0.4828; P = 0.0125). IgG- and IgG- (IVD) ELISAs (r = 0.309) were positively correlated, but was not significant (P = 0.124). Meanwhile there was no correlation between IgG4 - and IgG- (IVD) ELISAs (r = 0.0042; P = 0.8294). Sera from brugian filariasis patients showed weak, positive correlation between the titres of antifilarial IgG4 and the optical densities of anti-Strongyloides IgG4 -ELISA (r = 0.4544, P = 0.0294). In conclusion, the detection of both anti-Strongyloides IgG4 and IgG antibodies could improve the serodiagnosis of human strongyloidiasis. Furthermore, patients from lymphatic filariasis endemic areas who are serologically diagnosed with strongyloidiasis should also be tested for filariasis.
The Aborigines or Orang Asli in Peninsular Malaysia who are still seminomadic are known to have a close association with dogs. In this study, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to detect anti-Sarcoptes scabiei var canis antibodies in this community as a measure of exposure to the mite. Out of 312 Orang Asli tested, 24.7% were positive for polyvalent anti-Sarcoptes antibodies. No significant difference was found between the positive rates in males (26.1%) and females (23.6%). Only 1.9% were positive for IgA and none was positive for IgE anti-Sarcoptes antibodies. Since there were very few patients with clinical manifestation of scabies, there is a possibility that continuous exposure to the dogs mite confers cross-protective immunity in the community against human scabies.
Component-resolved diagnosis (CRD) using microarray technology has recently been introduced with the aim to improve diagnosis of allergy. The aim of this study was to compare performance of this allergen microarray to those of an established extract-based skin prick testing (SPT).45 patients with allergic rhinitis were studied (16 children and 29 adults). SPT to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Dermatophagoides farinae and Blomia tropicalis extracts and allergen microarray ImmunoCAP ISAC were carried out for all patients. Forty out of 45 patients demonstrated positive SPT to all mite extracts tested. These 40 patients were considered to be mite-allergic based on the positive SPT results. The remaining 5 patients with negative SPT to any mite extracts were classified as non-mite allergic. Comparatively, based on the microarray results, only 34 mite-allergic patients had detectable serum IgE to at least one of the mite allergen components tested whereas 6 patients with positive SPT to mite extracts showed no detectable IgE reactivity to any of the components tested. One non-mite allergic patient had a positive test- Blo t 5. Der p 10-positive patients also reacted to other cross-reactive tropomyosin from anisakis (Ani s 3) (25%), cockroach (Bla g 7) (50%) and shrimp (Pen m 1) (75%). CRD is a reliable tool for the diagnosis of allergy to mites. Der p 10 might be a useful indicator to identify a subset of mite-allergic patient that have additional sensitization due to cross-reactivity and thus allows selection of patients for immunotherapy.
Diagnosis of human toxocariasis currently relies on serologic tests that use Toxocara excretory-secretory (TES) antigen to detect immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies to the larvae. In general, however, these assays do not have adequate specificity for use in countries in which other soil-transmitted helminths are endemic. The use of recombinant antigens in these assays, however, is promising for improving the specificity of the diagnosis of toxocariasis. Toward this goal, we developed an IgG4 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) involving three recombinant antigens: rTES-30USM (previously produced), rTES-26, and rTES-120. The latter two antigens were produced by reverse transcription-PCR cloning; subcloned into glutathione S-transferase (GST)-tagged and His-tagged prokaryotic expression vectors, respectively; and expressed in Escherichia coli. The recombinant proteins were subsequently purified by affinity chromatography using GST and His-Trap resins. The diagnostic potential of each purified recombinant antigen was tested with various immunoglobulin classes (IgG, IgM, and IgE) and IgG subclasses. The IgG4 ELISA was determined to have the highest specificity and was further evaluated using a panel of serum samples. The rTES-26 IgG4 ELISA showed 80.0% (24/30 samples positive) sensitivity, and both the rTES-30USM IgG4 ELISA and rTES-120 IgG4 ELISA had 93.0% (28/30) sensitivity. Combined use of rTES-120 and rTES-30 IgG4 ELISA for the diagnosis of toxocariasis provided 100% sensitivity. The specificities of rTES-26, rTES-30USM, and rTES-120 antigens were 96.2%, 93.9%, and 92.0%, respectively. These results indicate that the development of a diagnostic test using the three recombinant antigens will allow for more-accurate detection of toxocariasis.
The purpose of this study was to characterize major allergens of Indian scad (Decapterus russelli) which is among the most commonly consumed fish in Malaysia. Raw and cooked extracts of the fish were prepared. Protein profiles and IgE binding patterns were produced by sodium dodecyl sulphate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and immunoblotting using sera from subjects with fish allergy. The major allergens of the fish were then identified by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE), followed by mass spectrometry of the peptide digests. The SDS-PAGE of the raw extract revealed 27 protein fractions over a wide molecular weight range, while the cooked extract demonstrated only six protein fractions. The 1-DE immunoblotting detected 14 IgE-binding proteins, with a molecular weight range from 90 to < 6.5 kDa. Three protein fractions with molecular weights of approximately 51, 46 and 12 kDa were identified as the major allergens of this fish. The approximately 12 kDa band was a heat-resistant protein while the approximately 51 and 46 kDa proteins were sensitive to heat. The 2-DE gel profile of the raw extract demonstrated > 100 distinct protein spots and immunoblotting detected at least 10 different major IgE reactive spots with molecular masses as expected and isoelectric point (pI) values ranging from 4.0 to 7.0. A comparison of the major allergenic spot sequences of the 12 kDa proteins with known protein sequences in databases revealed extensive similarity with fish parvalbumin. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that a parvalbumin which is similar to Gad c 1 is the major allergen of Indian scad. Interestingly, we also detected heat-sensitive proteins as major allergenic components in our fish allergy patients.
The purpose of this study is to determine the relevance of the hygiene hypothesis; that is to determine if worm infestation has a protective role against the development of allergic rhinitis. A prospective case controlled study was conducted. Specific IgG levels to Toxocara were studied in 85 patients confirmed to have allergic rhinitis and were compared to levels in another 85 controls, with no form of allergy. The IgG assay was done using ELISA technique. There was a higher incidence of positive specific IgG to Toxocara in the controls as compared to allergic patients. The values were statistically significant [Chi square test (p=0.002)]. This negative association between worm infestation and allergic rhinitis suggests that a previous worm infestation could protect against the development of allergic rhinitis.
Andrographolide (AGP) and 14-deoxy-11,12-didehydroandrographolide (DDAG), two main diterpenoid constituents of Andrographis paniculata were previously shown to ameliorate asthmatic symptoms in a mouse model. However, due to inadequacies of both compounds in terms of drug-likeness, DDAG analogues were semisynthesised for assessment of their anti-asthma activity. A selected analogue, 3,19-diacetyl-14-deoxy-11,12-didehydroandrographolide (SRS27), was tested for inhibitory activity of NF-κB activation in TNF-α-induced A549 cells and was subsequently evaluated in a mouse model of ovalbumin (OVA)-induced asthma. Female BALB/c mice, 6-8weeks old were sensitized on days 0 and 14, and challenged on days 22, 23 and 24 with OVA. Compound or vehicle (3% dimethyl sulfoxide) was administered intraperitoneally 1h before and 11h after each OVA aerosol challenge. On day 25, pulmonary eosinophilia, airway hyperresponsiveness, mucus hypersecretion, inflammatory cytokines such as IL-4, -5 and -13 in BAL fluid, gene expression of inflammatory mediators such as 5-LOX, E-selectin, VCAM-1, CCL5, TNF-α, AMCase, Ym2, YKL-40, Muc5ac, CCL2 and iNOS in animal lung tissues, and serum IgE were determined. SRS27 at 30μM was found to suppress NF-κB nuclear translocation in A549 cells. In the ovalbumin-induced mouse asthma model, SRS27 at 3mg/kg displayed a substantial decrease in pulmonary eosinophilia, BAL fluid inflammatory cytokines level, serum IgE production, mucus hypersecretion and gene expression of inflammatory mediators in lung tissues. SRS27 is the first known DDAG analogue effective in ameliorating inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness in the ovalbumin-induced mouse asthma model.