Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 7, Issue 2,2009
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Sensitization to common food and inhalant allergens in children attending Allergy and Asthma Pediatric Clinic in Doha, Qatar


Abdelhamid Kerkadi 1*, Asma Althani 1, Amina Al-Boainain 2, Ibrahim Janahi 3, Rajiv Singh 4

Recieved Date: 2009-02-11, Accepted Date: 2009-04-07


The prevalence of allergic diseases such as asthma, allergic rhinitis and atopic dermatitis have risen at an alarming rate throughout the world in the past 50 years. Sensitization to food (FA) and inhalant allergens (IA) have been associated with an increase of allergic diseases. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of sensitization to FA and IA among children attending Allergy and Asthma Pediatric Clinic in Doha, Qatar. A total of 134 children with age between 1 month and 10 years were recruited. Sensitization to common FA and IA was determined by allergy screen test for in vitro diagnostics (R-Biopharm). Allergic disorders (asthma, eczema or wheezing) were present in 56.7, 14.4 and 61.9%, respectively, and 29.9 and 19.4% were sensitized to FA and IA, respectively. Cheese was the most often identified FA followed by milk, casein, peanut, nut, fish, banana and egg yolk. Among IA, sensitization to pets (cat and dog) and dust were the most prevalent among children. Boys were more sensitized to FA than girls (35.9% vs. 27.4%). The same pattern was observed for IA where 20.5% of boys were sensitized compared to 18.9% for girls. The prevalence of sensitization to FA decreased as age increases (35% at 0-2 years vs. 32.5% at the age 6-10 years). Rate of sensitization to IA, however, increased with age (from 7.7% in the youngest group to 69.2% in the oldest group). Sensitization to FA and IA was associated with age (P<0.05). Of children with FA, 37.5% were sensitized to IA. A statistically significant association between FA and IA was observed (OR:1.82; 95% CI: 1.15-2.88; = 0.001), 76.9 and 75% sensitized to IA and FA, respectively, reported family history of allergy. The prevalence of asthma and eczema was higher among girls, while wheezing was higher among boys. This study is the first in Qatar, which has used two specific panels: panel2DOHA for inhalant allergens and panel3DOHA for food allergens. The results suggest that food and inhalant allergens sensitization is highly prevalent among the studied population.


Food allergens, inhalant allergens, children, Qatar, sensitization, asthma, wheezing

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2009
Volume: 7
Issue: 2
Category: Food and Health
Pages: 213-217

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