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Researchers identify early biomarker for future atopy in asymptomatic children
Date:7/6/2011

develop asthma-like symptoms and 15 percent developed eczema by age six.

When the researchers analyzed the data for associations between infant levels of u-EPX and future symptoms and diagnoses, they found that elevated u-EPX at one month was associated with 49 percent increase in risk of allergic sensitization, an association that was statistically significant for both food and aeroallergens. High u-EPX was also associated with a three-fold risk of developing nasal eosinophilia, indicating allergic inflammation of the upper airways. Finally, infants whose u-EPX was in the top quartile had a 40 percent greater risk for developing eczema by the age of six than those in the lower three quartiles.

"These data suggest that there is early life eosinophilic activation prior to symptom debut in children developing atopy-related conditions," said Dr. Bisgaard. "The mechanism behind the apparent pre-symptom eosinophilic activation in very young children is still unknown, but this study suggests that there is an ongoing pathogenesis in these children that begins well before symptom onset and includes the activation of eosinophil granulocytes."

Dr. Bisgaard noted that the current findings support similar findings of previous studies done in the same cohort. "These findings are in line with our previous studies, one where we saw increased concentration of exhaled nitric oxide in the breath of these healthy babies preceding later development of lung symptoms, and one that showed an association between bacterial colonization in the airways and later risk of asthma. Together, these three studies support the concept that a disease process is present long before symptoms become present'a patient is a patient before he is diagnosed as a patient' and that the disease originates very early in life," he said.

"This knowledge may help us identify the highest risk groups of children from a very early age for targeted prevention as well as indiv
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Contact: Keely Savoie
ksavoie@thoracic.org
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

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