Sensitisation to common allergens in children with allergic rhinitis.


Farah Dayana ZAHEDI, Balwant Singh GENDEH, Salina HUSAIN.

Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



Introduction: Allergic rhinitis is common in otorhinolaryngology practice. According to ‘Allergy Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA), Clinical and Experimental Allergy Reviews’ guidelines, the management of allergic rhinitis includes allergen avoidance. Therefore, it is important to know the allergens to which the patient is sensitised. This study was carried out to determine the prevalence of sensitisation to common allergens among children with allergic rhinitis seen in a tertiary referral centre in Malaysia. Materials and Methods: All children aged five to 12 years who had been referred to Otorhinolaryngology clinic Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Center (UKMMC) from 2005 to 2010 with symptoms consistent with allergic rhinitis and had a skin prick test (SPT) were included in the study. The common allergens that had been used in the SPT were aeroallergens, food allergens and contact allergens. The database of SPT results was collected and reviewed. Results: A total number of 580 children were included in this study with 69.3% showing positive SPT. From the positive SPT results, a total of 1,515 sensitisations were observed with 60.9% sensitised to aeroallergens, 38.6% sensitised to food allergens and 0.6% sensitised to contact allergens. Among the aeroallergens, the house dust mite accounted for more than half of the sensitisations: Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (27.9%), Dermatophagoides farinae (26.4%), Blomia tropicalis (26.0%). The most common food allergen sensitisation was seafood – crab (18.5%), prawn (18.0%) and squid (8.7%). Each of the other food allergens tested accounted for less than five percent of the positive SPT result. The contact allergen tested in this study was latex. Conclusion: This data represents a common allergen sensitisation in children with rhinitis symptoms residing in urban areas with house dust mites being the most common allergen sensitised in these children.


Keywords: Allergic rhinitis, children, common allergen, skin prick test


Correspondence author: Salina HUSAIN, Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Center, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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Brunei Int Med J. 2011; 7 (4): 200-206