IgE and atopy in perinatally HIV-infected children

Elevated serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) and increased prevalence of atopy is reported in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The elevated serum IgE may be attributed to polyclonal stimulation of B cells or IgE production against allergens, viruses, fungi and bacteria.

This study investigates the prevalence of atopy in perinatally HIV-infected children, and the relationships between serum IgE (and other serum immunoglobulins) with atopy, CD4+ cell count and HIV-disease stage.

Serum immunoglobulin levels, epicutaneous skin test for common aeroallergens, clinical Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classification, CD4+ cell counts and allergy history were extracted from the charts of perinatally HIV-infected children on highly active antiretroviral therapy.

The prevalence of atopy (52%) and the pattern of aeroallergen sensitivity were comparable with the US pediatric population. Serum IgE levels did not correlate with clinical disease stage. However, in non-atopic patients, serum IgE levels increased with disease progression (p = 0.02).

There was an inverse relationship between the prevalence of elevated serum IgE levels and atopy with progression of disease (p = 0.019). Serum IgE did not correlate with atopy, CD4+ cell count, or duration of HIV infection or levels of serum immunoglobulins.

This is the first study to show no increased prevalence of atopy in perinatally HIV-infected children compared with the general population. In advanced stages of HIV, elevated serum IgE may be specific for antigens other than those known as allergens.

Keywords: human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); AIDS; IgE; atopy; allergy; immunoglobulin; CD4+ T cell; children; immediate hypersensitivity skin testing

Document Type: Research article

DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2006.00522.x

Authors: Bowser, Corinna S.; Kaye, Jean; Joks, Rauno O.; Charlot, Cascy-Arnoux; Jack Moallem, H.
Source: Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Volume 18, Number 4, June 2007 , pp. 298-303(6)
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing

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