Objective: It is important to detect allergens that cause sensitization to decrease the morbidity of allergic diseases and to prevent or to delay the development of the disease in already sensitized patients. In this study, we aimed to evaluate which aeroallergens cause sensitization in allergic patients in the Akdeniz Region, Turkey, as well as their frequency of occurrence.
Materials and Methods: The demographic properties, diagnoses, total IgE levels, sensitization against aeroallergens detected via EPT (Epidermal prick test), the dates of EPT application and peripheral eosinophil counts at the time of EPT application were analyzed in 510 patients aged 2-18 years who presented to the Akdeniz University Pediatric Allergy – Immunology and Pulmonology Departments and Antalya Education and Research Hospital Pediatric Allergy - Immunology Department with an allergic history or diagnosis between January 2014 and July 2015. All patients underwent EPT during their follow-up and sensitivity against at least one aeroallergen was detected. The seasonal distribution of these aeroallergens was also analyzed.
Results: A total of 1180 children to which an allergic skin test had been applied between January 2014 and July 2015 were included in this study. It was seen that 510 patients (43.2%) had a positive response to at least one aeroallergen and 402 patients among them (78.8%) had a positive response to more than one aeroallergen. Males made up 58.4% and females 41.6% of the patients who showed a positive EPT. Sensitivity was most frequently (69%) against house dust mites, followed by tree pollen mix (54.9%) and grass/weed mix (52.5%). Other allergens were animal dander (45.3%), fungi mix (43.4%), herb/pollen mix (34.9%), cockroach (16.9%) and olea (6%). Further, by analyzing the seasonal distributions of allergens, it was seen that sensitivity was most frequently against house dust in all seasons.
Conclusion: Avoiding specific allergens is important in eliminating and managing the symptoms in allergic patients. Determining the regional differences regarding allergen sensitivity is therefore critical.