The aim of the study was to determine the incidence of food and house dust mite (HDM) allergy in patients with nasal congestion and rhinorrhea attending the Otorhinolaryngology Clinic, National University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. This was a prospective matched, controlled study of patients skin prick tested with commercial food and common aeroallergens. The participants were 148 Malaysian adults with symptoms of nasal congestion and rhinorrhea and 113 adult Malaysian control subjects without rhinitis symptoms. The skin prick test (SPT) was used to evaluate 11 foods common to the Malaysian diet and 3 HDM inhalants. Forty-eight percent of the patients with rhinitis had positive SPT results to foods, compared with 4.4% of control subjects (P < 0.05). The most commonly implicated foods were shrimp (48%) and rice (30%), which are common in the Malaysian diet. Seventy-two percent of rhinitis patients had positive SPT results to HDM, compared with 22.2% of control subjects (P < 0.05). Patients with rhinitis also had significantly more gastrointestinal problems than control subjects (P < 0.05). The incidences of HDM and food allergy are significantly greater in Malaysian adults with rhinitis symptoms than in control subjects without rhinitis. The effect of avoidance or immunotherapy awaits further study.
Study site: Otorhinolaryngology Clinic, Pusat Perubatan Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (PPUKM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Some infants intolerant to cow's milk protein (CMP) are often also intolerant to other food proteins including soy protein (SP). The effect of CMP and SP in infants recovering from diarrhoeal disease was studied in 22 infants who were maintained on an hypo-allergenic formula for 4-6 weeks. The infants were then challenged successively, initially with SP, followed 24 h later with CMP and then rechallenged with SP 24 h after CMP provocation. Three groups were recognized on the basis of clinical symptoms and mucosal changes following SP challenge. Group 1 comprised four infants who developed clinical and histological reactions on SP challenge. The subsequent CMP challenge, 24 h after the initial SP challenge, resulted in clinical symptoms in three of the four infants, and they developed increased mucosal injury. Rechallenge with SP in the three infants caused development of severe clinical symptoms. Group 2 comprised 12 infants who developed histological reaction but had no clinical symptoms to initial SP challenge. The subsequent CMP challenge caused further progression in mucosal pathology in 11 of the 12 infants and six also had associated clinical symptoms. Rechallenge with SP in the latter six infants resulted in development of clinical symptoms in three and tolerance to SP in three infants. Group 3 comprised six infants who tolerated SP and CMP but one of these infants developed mild histological changes to CMP. The progression of mucosal injury following SP and CMP challenge was associated with a significant decrease in mucosal disaccharidases, alkaline phosphatase levels and presence of reducing sugar in the stools. The 1 h blood xylose level continued to decrease significantly following the pre-SP, post-SP, and post-CMP challenge. It appears that the small bowel mucosa of young infants recovering from diarrhoeal disease remains sensitive not only to CMP but also to SP. The feeding of these proteins in rapid successive sequence to infants with mucosal damage might result in further progression of the mucosal injury. Thus, the exclusion for a variable period of time of antigenic food proteins like CMP and SP from the diet of young infants recovering from diarrhoea might reduce the risk of inducing mucosal sensitivity to these proteins in susceptible infants.
Eleven infants who were suspected clinically of having cows' milk protein sensitive enteropathy were fed with a protein hydrolysate formula for six to eight weeks, after which they had jejunal and rectal biopsies taken before and 24 hours after challenge with cows' milk protein. When challenged six infants (group 1) developed clinical symptoms and five did not (group 2). In group 1 the lesions developed in both the jejunal mucosa (four infants at 24 hours and one at three days), and the rectal mucosa, and the injury was associated with depletion of alkaline phosphatase activity. Infants in group 2 were normal. It seems that rectal injury that develops as a direct consequence of oral challenge with the protein in reactive infants may be used as one of the measurements to confirm the diagnosis of cows' milk protein sensitive enteropathy. Moreover, ingestion of such food proteins may injure the distal colonic mucosa without affecting the proximal small gut in some infants.
A series of 31 infants, 28 with cow's milk protein sensitive enteropathy (CMPSE) and 3 controls, was studied for severity and extent of mucosal damage of the upper small bowel in relation to the development of clinical symptoms. Following challenge with the offending cow's milk, 18 infants (Group 1) developed severe mucosal changes at both the proximal and distal small bowel mucosa and all of these infants presented with clinical symptoms. The other 10 infants (Group 2) who did not develop clinical symptoms following the challenge had less severe damage to the distal small bowel mucosa as compared to the proximal region. The histological score of both the proximal and distal postchallenge biopsies were significantly lower in Group 2 as compared to Group 1 infants. The mucosal disaccharidase and alkaline phosphatase levels were depleted in both the proximal and distal biopsies following challenge but the depletion was greater in the proximal than the distal biopsies. It is suggested that the extent and severity of mucosal damage to the proximal duodenum and jejunum have a critical bearing on the development of clinical symptoms.