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.
Allergy to house dust mites (HDM) is an important cause of asthma and rhinitis in Malaysia. This study was carried out to evaluate the dust mite fauna in the Klang Valley. Dust samples were collected from 20 houses from March 1994 to February 1995. Thirty-three dust samples from mattresses were examined monthly for the occurrence of HDM. A total of 22 species in 9 families of HDM was identified. The most common and densely populated species was Blomia tropicalis with an average density of 8,934 mites/g of dust. Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus was the next in abundance, followed by Malayoglyphus intermedius. All houses surveyed were found to be infested with HDM and every house had at least 6 species of HDM. B. tropicalis and D. pteronyssinus were found in all mattresses. HDM in the Klang Valley were found to be highly prevalent and present in high densities. In this study, counts of D. pteronyssinus was found to exceed the proposed exposure threshold of 500 mites/g dust, for triggering acute asthma. Although counts of B. tropicalis exceeded D. pteronyssinus, no conclusion could be made because there is currently no exposure threshold for triggering acute asthma, for this species. Monthly distribution of B. tropicalis and D. pteronyssinus showed 2 peaks and 4 peaks, respectively. The major peak for D. pteronysinus was in January 1995 whereas for B. tropicalis, the major peak was more variable and occurred between November 1994 to January 1995. Both the species showed minor peak in April 1994.
The MAST CLA system was evaluated against skin prick test (SPT) for diagnosis of allergies to house dust mites (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, Dermatophagoides farinae) and cats. Forty three asthmatic children were examined by SPT and MAST CLA. Chi-square analysis indicated significant association between SPT and MAST CLA results for the house dust mites but not for cats. The sensitivities of MAST CLA for house dust mites and cats were 100 and 25% respectively; specificities were all less than 50%. The efficiency of MAST CLA for detection of allergy to the house dust mites was 88% and 44% for cats. A significant linear correlation was found between SPT wheal size and MAST CLA grade for D. farinae but not for D. pteronyssinus and cats. It is concluded that the MAST CLA allergy system can be used to supplement SPT for diagnosis of allergies to house dust mites but not to cats.
We investigated the aeroallergens affecting 200 asthmatics from the University Hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and found 164 (82%) patients with skin prick test (SPT) reactivity to one or more of a panel of 14 allergens, which included indoor and outdoor animal and plant aeroallergens. Reactivity was most frequent to the indoor airborne allergens, with 159 (79.5%) reacting to either or both house dust mite (Dermatophagoides) species and 87 (43.5%) to cockroach. The SPT reactivity to house dust mites corresponded with the finding that patients found house dust to be the main precipitant of asthmatic attacks.
In a study of 124 adult patients with bronchial asthma, 65% of them had associated rhinitis. In the asthmatics who had associated rhinitis, both diseases usually started within two years of one another but either disease might develop first. In 21% of the patients, asthmatic attacks were preceded or precipitated by rhinitis symptoms. In the patients who had asthma alone or those associated with rhinitis, no significant difference were found in terms of age and sex distribution, age of onset, and a positive family history of asthma, rhinitis or allergic diseases. Response to skin prick test using six different types of allergens also showed no difference in the two groups of patients. Sensitivity to house dust was common among both groups of patients as well as in the normal controls suggesting a common occurrence of house dust mite in our community and making the skin prick test using this allergen unsuitable as a test for atopy in our population.
Study site: Chest clinic, Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM), Kelantan, Malaysia
Allergy to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus was determined in 61 rhinitis patients using prick test (PT), enzyme-immunoassay (EIA) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). A total of 43 patients tested positive with PT. Forty six patients were positive when tested with EIA and ELISA. With PT as standard test, EIA was found to have 83.7% sensitivity and 44.4% specificity; ELISA had 81.4% sensitivity and 38.9% specificity. There was a linear relationship between absorbance values obtained by EIA and ELISA. The performance time was 8 hours, 24 hours and 30 minutes for ELISA, EIA and PT respectively. The cost per test for ELISA, EIA and PT was US$ 0.20, US$ 5.20 and US$ 0.14 respectively. It was concluded that ELISA was more cost-effective than EIA should be used to supplement PT for a more complete diagnosis of allergy.
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.
The specific serum IgE levels to 20 allergens were determined by enzyme immunoassay in 90 Malaysian patients with allergic rhinitis. Ninety-two percent of patients had elevated IgE to at least 1 of the allergens. The housedust mites D. pteronyssinus and D. farinae were the major allergens, elevated IgE to either allergen being present in 86% of the patients. Prick skin tests were carried out in some of the patients, housedust mites, cat fur, dog hair and shrimp were the allergens used. Close correspondence was found between IgE and prick skin tests to the mites.
An epidemiological study in a mature oil palm estate in Peninsular Malaysia has demonstrated a low prevalence of R. tsutsugamushi infection in small mammals. The direct fluorescent antibody technique for assaying infections in chiggers proved more sensitive than mouse inoculation. Most infections in both chiggers and rodents were caused by the Karp strain.
A high incidence of sensitization to Blomia tropicalis, the predominant house dust mite species in tropical regions, is strongly associated with allergic diseases in Singapore, Malaysia, and Brazil. IgE binding to the group 5 allergen, Blo t 5, is found to be the most prevalent among all B. tropicalis allergens. The NMR structure of Blo t 5 determined represents a novel helical bundle structure consisting of three antiparallel alpha-helices. Based on the structure and sequence alignment with other known group 5 dust mite allergens, surface-exposed charged residues have been identified for site-directed mutagenesis and IgE binding assays. Four charged residues, Glu76, Asp81, Glu86, and Glu91 at around the turn region connecting helices alpha2 and alpha3 have been identified to be involved in the IgE binding. Using overlapping peptides, we have confirmed that these charged residues are located on a major putative linear IgE epitope of Blo t 5 from residues 76-91 comprising the sequence ELKRTDLNILERFNYE. Triple and quadruple mutants have been generated and found to exhibit significantly lower IgE binding and reduced responses in skin prick tests. The mutants induced similar PBMC proliferation as the wild-type protein but with reduced Th2:Th1 cytokines ratio. Mass screening on a quadruple mutant showed a 40% reduction in IgE binding in 35 of 42 sera of atopic individuals. Findings in this study further stressed the importance of surface-charged residues on IgE binding and have implications in the cross-reactivity and use of Blo t 5 mutants as a hypoallergen for immunotherapy.