METHODS: This was a comparative cross-sectional study. We recruited children aged 8-11 years from eight primary schools in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia. The children were divided into two groups: those with LBW (< 2,500 g) and those with normal birth weight (≥ 2,500 g). Parents of the enrolled children were asked to complete a translated version of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood questionnaire. Lung function tests, done using a MicroLoop Spirometer, were performed for the children in both groups by a single investigator who was blinded to the children's birth weight.
RESULTS: The prevalence of 'ever wheezed' among the children with LBW was 12.9%. This value was significantly higher than that of the children with normal birth weight (7.8%). Forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in one second, and forced expiratory flow when 50% and 75% of the FVC had been exhaled were significantly lower among the children with LBW as compared to the children with normal birth weight.
CONCLUSION: LBW is associated with an increased prevalence of asthma-like symptoms and impaired lung function indices later in life. Children born with LBW may need additional follow-up so that future respiratory problems can be detected early.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the frequency and geographic variability that exists in a sensitization pattern to common and specific allergens, including house dust mite and fungi, and to correlate such patterns to airway immune-inflammatory status and clinical outcomes in bronchiectasis.
METHODS: Patients with bronchiectasis were recruited in Asia (Singapore and Malaysia) and the United Kingdom (Scotland) (n = 238), forming the Cohort of Asian and Matched European Bronchiectasis, which matched recruited patients on age, sex, and bronchiectasis severity. Specific IgE response against a range of common allergens was determined, combined with airway immune-inflammatory status and correlated to clinical outcomes. Clinically relevant patient clusters, based on sensitization pattern and airway immune profiles ("immunoallertypes"), were determined.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: A high frequency of sensitization to multiple allergens was detected in bronchiectasis, exceeding that in a comparator cohort with allergic rhinitis (n = 149). Sensitization was associated with poor clinical outcomes, including decreased pulmonary function and more severe disease. "Sensitized bronchiectasis" was classified into two immunoallertypes: one fungal driven and proinflammatory, the other house dust mite driven and chemokine dominant, with the former demonstrating poorer clinical outcome.
CONCLUSIONS: Allergic sensitization occurs at high frequency in patients with bronchiectasis recruited from different global centers. Improving endophenotyping of sensitized bronchiectasis, a clinically significant state, and a "treatable trait" permits therapeutic intervention in appropriate patients, and may allow improved stratification in future bronchiectasis research and clinical trials.
OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of allergen sensitization and family history of atopy on asthma and allergic disease in Chinese schoolchildren from three southeast Asian populations.
METHODS: Written questionnaires on respiratory and allergic symptoms were completed by parents of children of secondary-school age (age range 12 to 18 years) in Hong Kong (n = 1062), Kota Kinabalu in eastern Malaysia (n = 409), and San Bu in southern China (n = 737). A subsample of school-children underwent skin prick testing to common inhalant allergens (Hong Kong 471 children, Kota Kinabalu 321, San Bu 647).
RESULTS: The prevalence of asthma and allergic disease in schoolchildren was highest in Hong Kong, intermediate in Kota Kinabalu, and lowest in San Bu. However, the overall rate of atopic sensitization was similar in the three populations (49% to 63%). House dust mite and cockroach were the two most common allergens causing sensitization and these gave rise to more than 95% of the positive skin test results in all three populations. By regression analysis, mite allergy was associated with rhinitis and asthma in all three populations, and a family history of asthma, rhinitis, or eczema was strongly associated with respective symptoms in the subjects. After adjusting for age, sex, atopic status, and family history of allergic disease, the place of residence remained a significant independent factor for asthma (odds ratio [OR] = 1.0 for Hong Kong, 0.57 for Kota Kinabalu, 0.15 for San Bu, p < 0.001), rhinitis (OR = 1.0 for Hong Kong, 0.59 for Kota Kinabalu, 0.15 for San Bu, p < 0.001), or eczema (OR = 1.0 for Hong Kong, 0.35 for Kota Kinabalu, 1.01 for San Bu, p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Sensitization to indoor allergens was a significant risk factor for asthma and allergic disease, and familial clustering of disease was common in the region. However, the marked difference in disease prevalence in the three southeast Asian populations of Chinese schoolchildren cannot be explained by atopic sensitization and family history alone, and the place of residence was an independent risk factor for asthma and allergies, which suggests an important environmental role in disease pathogenesis.
METHODS: We developed mouse models representing three different phenotypes of allergic airway inflammation-eosinophilic, mixed, and neutrophilic asthma via different methods of house dust mite sensitization and challenge. Transcriptomic analysis of the lungs, followed by the RT-PCR, western blot, and confocal microscopy, was performed. Primary human bronchial epithelial cells cultured in air-liquid interface were used to study the mechanisms revealed in the in vivo models.
RESULTS: By whole-genome transcriptome profiling of the lung, we found that airway tight junction (TJ), mucin, and inflammasome-related genes are differentially expressed in these distinct phenotypes. Further analysis of proteins from these families revealed that Zo-1 and Cldn18 were downregulated in all phenotypes, while increased Cldn4 expression was characteristic for neutrophilic airway inflammation. Mucins Clca1 (Gob5) and Muc5ac were upregulated in eosinophilic and even more in neutrophilic phenotype. Increased expression of inflammasome-related molecules such as Nlrp3, Nlrc4, Casp-1, and IL-1β was characteristic for neutrophilic asthma. In addition, we showed that inflammasome/Th17/neutrophilic axis cytokine-IL-1β-may transiently impair epithelial barrier function, while IL-1β and IL-17 increase mucin expressions in primary human bronchial epithelial cells.
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that differential expression of TJ, mucin, and inflammasome-related molecules in distinct inflammatory phenotypes of asthma may be linked to pathophysiology and might reflect the differences observed in the clinic.