This study was conducted to determine the seasonal prevalence of allergies to house dust, D. pteronyssinus, D. farinae, cat fur, dog hair, mixed moulds, mixed grass pollens and American cockroach. A total of 314 patients with clinically suspected allergic rhinitis was examined by prick test using commercial preparations of the above allergens. Total serum IgE of the patients was determined by a Sandwich ELISA. Ninety-six percent of the patients tested positive to more than one allergen. Most were positive to a combination of 4 allergens. More than 70% of the patients were positive to house dust, D. pteronyssinus, D. farinae and cat fur. Analysis indicates that for an individual who tests positive for house dust, there is a very high risk of the person being allergic to the dust mites and cat fur too. Most of the allergens had 2 peak period of high positive PT rates; mixed moulds and mixed grass pollens had 3 peaks. There was significant positive correlation between the monthly positive PT rates against mixed moulds and mixed grass pollens with maximum daily mean temperature and mean temperature at 14.00 hours.
An indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed for the diagnosis of allergy to a house dust mite, Dermatophagoides farinae. The efficacy of the ELISA was then evaluated against a prick test using a commercial allergen. Eighty five suspected allergic rhinitis patients from the Otorhinolaryngology Department, Kuala Lumpur General Hospital, were tested with the ELISA and prick test. Prick test and ELISA results were positive in 84.7% and 80.0% of the patients respectively. The ELISA was found to have 87.5% sensitivity, 61.5% specificity, 92.6% positive predictive value, 47.1% negative predictive value, 7.4% false positive and 52.9% false negative. There was total agreement between the prick test and ELISA for prick test grades of 3+ and 4+. It is concluded that the ELISA is a useful assay for detection of individuals who are highly sensitive to D. farinae.
Zygomycosis is an uncommon polymorphic fungal disease. One clinical subtype, nasofacial zygomycosis, is caused by infectious exposure to the organism Conidiobolus coronatus. A case affecting the nose and lips of a 42-year-old Malay man is reported here. The clinicopathologic features and management of this disease are described, and its differential diagnosis is discussed.