Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) during the COVID-19 pandemic raised a global alert from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Health Alert Network. The main manifestations of MIS-C in the setting of a severe inflammatory state include fever, diarrhea, shock, and variable presence of rash, conjunctivitis, extremity edema, and mucous membrane changes, and in some cases it progressed to multi-organ failure. The low percentage of children with asymptomatic cases compared with mild illness and moderate illness could be correlated with the rare cases of MIS-C. One potential explanation for the progression to severe MIS-C disease despite the presence of readily detectable anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies could be due to potential role of antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). We reason that the incidence of the ADE phenomenon whereby the pathogen-specific antibodies can promote pathology should be considered in vaccine development against SARS-COV-2.
Food allergy is increasing in prevalence, affecting up to 10% of children in developed countries. Food allergy can significantly affect the quality of life and well-being of patients and their families; therefore, an accurate diagnosis is of extreme importance. Some food allergies can spontaneously resolve in 50-60% of cow’s milk and egg allergic, 20% of peanut allergic and 9% of tree nut allergic children by school age. For that reason, food allergic status should be monitored over time to determine when to reintroduce the food back into the child’s diet. The gold-standard to confirm the diagnosis and the resolution of food allergy is an oral food challenge; however, this involves a risk of causing an acute allergic reaction and requires clinical experience and resources to treat allergic reactions of any degree of severity. In the clinical setting, biomarkers have been used and validated to enable an accurate diagnosis when combined with the clinical history, deferring the oral food challenge, whenever possible. In this review, we cover the tools available to support the diagnosis of food allergies and to predict food allergy resolution over time. We review the latest evidence on different testing modalities and how effective they are in guiding clinical decision-making in practice. We also evaluate predictive test cut-offs for the more common food allergens to try and provide guidance on when challenges might be most successful in determining oral tolerance in children.
Background: Antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) are widely used for the treatment of epilepsy, but they can be associated with the development of mainly delayed/non-immediate hypersensitivity reactions (HRs). Although these reactions are usually cutaneous, self-limited and spontaneously resolve within days after drug discontinuation, sometime HRs reactions to AEDs can be severe and life threatening. Aim: This paper seeks to show examples on practical management of AEDs HRs in children starting from a review of what it is already known in literature. Results: Risk factors include age, history of previous AEDs reactions, viral infections, concomitant medications and genetic factors. The diagnosis work-up consists of in vivo (Intradermal testing and Patch testing) and in vitro tests [serological investigation to exclude the role of viral infection, lymphocyte transformation test (LTT), cytokine detection in ELISpot assays and granulysin (Grl) in flow cytometry]. Treatment is based on a prompt drug discontinuation and mainly on the use of glucocorticoids. Conclusion: Dealing with AEDs HRs is challenging. The primary goal in the diagnosis and management of HRs to AEDs should be trying to accurately identify the causal trigger and simultaneously identify a safe and effective alternate anticonvulsant. There is therefore an ongoing need to improve our knowledge of HS reactions due to AED medications and in particular to improve our diagnostic capabilities.
Gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) and food allergy (FA) are common conditions, especially during the first 12 months of life. When GOR leads to troublesome symptoms, that affect daily functioning of the infant and family, it is referred to GOR disease (GORD). The role of food allergens as a cause of GORD remains controversial. This European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) position paper aims to review the evidence for FA-associated GORD in young children and translate this into clinical practice that guides healthcare professionals through the diagnosis of suspected FA-associated GORD and the medical and dietary management. The Task Force (TF) on non-IgE mediated allergy consists of EAACI experts in paediatric gastroenterology, allergy, dietetics and psychology from Europe, United Kingdom, United States, Turkey and Brazil. Six clinical questions were formulated, amended and approved by the TF to guide this publication. A systematic literature search using PubMed, Cochrane and EMBASE databases (until June 2021) using a predefined inclusion criteria based on the 6 questions was used. The TF also gained access to the database from the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology working group, who published guidelines on GORD and ensured that all publications used within that position paper were included. For each of the 6 questions, practice points were formulated, followed by a modified Delphi method consisting of anonymous web-based voting that was repated with modified practice points where required, until at least 80% consensus for each practice point was achieved. This TF position paper shares the process, the discussion and consensus on all practice points on FA-associated GORD.
Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) is a pulmonary disease caused by Aspergillus induced hypersensitivity that occurs in immunocompetent but susceptible patients with asthma and/or cystic fibrosis (CF). In children, ABPA remains mostly undiagnosed, resulting in one of the most common causes of poorly controlled asthma and highly significant morbidity in children with CF. Currently, no specific diagnostic criteria of ABPA for children are available. Corticosteroids and itraconazole are the mainstays of therapy, althoughthere is a lack of randomized clinical trials regarding their usefulness for ABPA in children. Several monoclonal antibodies, such asomalizumab and mepolizumab, may be potential therapies for refractory ABPA in pediatric patients; however, further data are required to clarify the optimal dose and duration of therapy as a routine treatment approach.
Background: Although atopic dermatitis (AD) is associated with certain gene variants, the rapidly increasing incidence of AD suggests that environmental factors contribute to disease development. In this study, we investigated the association of AD incidence and phenotype with antibiotic exposure within 6 months of age, considering the dose administered and genetic risk. Methods: This study included 1,637 children from the COCOA birth cohort. Pediatric allergists assessed the presence of AD at each visit and obtained information about antibiotic exposure for more than 3 days. IL-13 (rs20541) polymorphism was genotyped by the TaqMan method. We stratified the AD phenotypes into 4 groups and used multinomial logistic regression models for analysis. Results: Antibiotic exposure within 6 months of age was found to increase the risk of AD within 3 years of life (aOR=1.40, 95%, CI 1.09–1.81) in dose-dependent manner. Antibiotic exposure more than twice increased the risk of the early-persistent AD phenotype (aOR=2.50, 95% CI 1.35–4.63). There was a weak interaction between genetic polymorphisms and environmental factors on the development of AD (p for interaction=0.06). Children with the IL-13 (rs20541) GA+ AA genotype have a higher risk of the early-persistent AD phenotype when exposed to antibiotics more than twice than those with the IL-13 (rs20541) GG genotype and without exposure to antibiotics (aOR=4.73, 2.01–11.14). Conclusion: Antibiotic exposure within 6 months was related to the incidence of early-persistent AD and a dose-dependent increase in the incidence of AD in childhood, whose effect was modified by the IL-13 (rs20541) genotype.
Background: Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) resistance prediction remains substantial in Kawasaki disease (KD), with limited data on the predictive value of coagulation profile for IVIG resistance, particularly for repeated IVIG resistance. Therefore, the aim of our study was to testify the predictive validity of coagulation profile for both initial and repeated IVIG resistance in KD. Methods: A total of 385 KD patients were prospectively recruited between April in 2015 and May in 2019. Coagulation and other profiles were evaluated between IVIG-responsive and IVIG-resistant groups. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was applied to determine the association between coagulation profiles and IVIG resistance. ROC curves analysis was further performed to assess validity of coagulation profiles in predicting both initial and repeated IVIG resistance. Results: PT, APTT and D-dimer were significantly increased in initial IVIG-resistant group with ATIII significantly reduced. Meanwhile, ATIII was declined markedly in repeated IVIG-resistant patients. PT, APTT, D-dimer and ATIII cutoff values of 13.95 s, 41.15 s, 1.48 mg/l, and 89.5% yielded sensitivities of 73%, 32%, 71%, 81%; specificities of 55%, 88%, 62%, 51% for predicting initial IVIG resistance, respectively. The cutoff value of ATIII for predicting repeated IVIG resistance was 68.5%, with sensitivity of 71% and specificity of 55%. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that PT, APTT, D-dimer and ATIII were independent risk factors for initial IVIG resistant patients with KD. Conclusions: Coagulation profiles were significantly dysregulated in KD patients. Some of them particularly ATIII may serve as complementary laboratory markers for prediction of both initial and repeated IVIG resistance.
Background: Guidelines for management of patients with allergic conditions are available, but the added value of nurses, allied health care professionals (AHPs) and general practitioners (GPs), in the management of allergic disease has not been fully clarified. The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) appointed a task force to explore this issue. Aim: To investigate the added value of nurses, AHPs and GPs in management of allergic diseases, in an integrated model of care. Methods: A search was made of peer-reviewed literature published between 2010 and December 2020 (Cochrane Library, PubMed, and CINAHL) on the involvement of the various specific health care providers (HCPs) in the management of allergic diseases. Results: Facilitative models of care for patients with allergies can be achieved if HCP collaborate in the diagnosis and management. Working in multidisciplinary teams (MDT) can increase patients’ understanding of the disease, adherence to treatment, self-care capabilities, and ultimately improve quality of life. The MDT competencies and procedures can be improved and enhanced in a climate of mutual respect and shared values, and with inclusion of patients in the planning of care. Patient-centered communication among HCPs and emphasis on the added value of each profession can create an effective integrated model of care for patients with allergic diseases. Conclusion: Nurses, AHPs, and GPs, both individually and in collaboration, can contribute to the improvement of the management of patients with allergic disease. The interaction between the HCPs and the patients themselves can ensure maximum support for people with allergies.
Whether you benefit from high-quality urban environments, such as those rich in green and blue spaces, that may offer benefits to allergic and respiratory health depends on where you live and work. Environmental inequality, therefore, results from the unequal distribution of the risks and benefits that stem from interactions with our environment. Within this perspective, this article reviews the evidence for an association between air pollution caused by industrial activities, traffic, disinfection-by-products and tobacco/e-cigarettes and asthma in children. We also discuss the proposed mechanisms by which air pollution increases asthma risk, including environmental epigenetic regulations, oxidative stress, and damage, disrupted barrier integrity, inflammatory pathways, and enhancement of respiratory sensitization to aeroallergens. Environmental air pollution is a major determinant of childhood asthma, but magnitude of effect is not shared equally across the population, regions, and settings where people live, work, and spend their time. Improvement of the exposure assessment, a better understanding of critical exposure time windows, underlying mechanisms, and drivers of heterogeneity may improve the risk estimates. Urban conditions and air quality are not only important features for national and local authorities to shape healthy cities and protect their citizens from environmental and health risks, but they also provide opportunities to mitigate inequalities in the most deprived areas where the environmental burden is highest. Actions to avoid exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollutants should be complementary at different levels – individual, local, and national levels – to take effective measures to protect children who have little or no control over the air they breathe.
Background Beta-lactams generate different allergenic determinants that induce selective or cross-reactive drug hypersensitivity reactions (DHRs). We aimed to identify the drugs involved, the selectivity of the response, the mechanism, and the value of the different diagnostic tests for establishing a diagnosis in children evaluated for DHRs to beta-lactams. Methods Prospective study evaluating children aged under 16 years reporting DHRs to beta-lactams. Reactions were classified as immediate and nonimmediate reactions. The work-up included sIgE, skin testing and drug provocation tests (DPTs) for immediate reactions and patch testing and DPTs for nonimmediate ones. Results Of the 510 included children, 133 were evaluated for immediate reactions and confirmed in 8.3%. Skin test/in vitro IgE contributed to diagnosing half of the cases. Selective reactions occurred with amoxicillin (63%), followed by common penicillin determinants (27%) and cephalosporins (0.9%). Among nonimmediate reactions (11,4% of the 377 children evaluated), most required DPTs, 52.7% of which were positive at 6–7 days of drug challenge. Selective reactions were identified with amoxicillin (80%), penicillin G (7.5%), cephalosporins (7.5%), and clavulanic acid (5%). Urticaria and maculopapular exanthema were the most frequent entities. Conclusions There were few confirmed cases of either type of reaction. Skin testing proved less valuable in nonimmediate reactions, over half of which would also have been lost in a short DPT protocol. Selective responders to amoxicillin were more likely to have nonimmediate reactions, while clavulanic acid-selectivity was exclusive to the nonimmediate typology. Over half the cases with DPTs required 6-7 days of treatment for DHR confirmation.
Autoimmune neutropenia of infancy (AIN) is a relatively frequent cause of neutropenia in children. The disease is caused by antibodies recognizing membrane antigens of neutrophils, mostly located on immunoglobulin G (IgG) Fc receptor type 3b (FcγIIIb receptor). In this study, we investigated the possible association of human neutrophil antigens (HNA), human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR and HLA-DQ alleles with AIN and the association of these genotypes with the presence of anti-HNA-1a autoantibodies. Eighty AIN cases with a median age of 13.5 months were included in this study. Controls were healthy unrelated Danish blood donors. Anti-HNA-1a autoantibodies were detected using a flow cytometric granulocyte immunofluorescence test (Flow-GIFT). Molecular determination of HNA genotypes was determined using real-time polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR). High-resolution HLA-DR and HLA-DQB1 were determined by next-generation sequencing. Antibodies against HNA-1a were detected in 51% (n=41) of AIN patients, and anti-HNA-1b was detected in 3% (n=2) of cases. FCGR3B*01+,*02-,*03- was more common (odds ratio, 6.70; p < 0.0001), and FCGR3B*01-,*02+,*03- was less common (odds ratio, 0.30; p < 0.0001) among AIN cases. HNA-1a antibodies were significantly more frequent among AIN cases with the FCGR3B*01+,*02-,*03-genotype (odds ratio, 3.86; p < 0.007). The HLA-DR*14 and HLA-DQB1*05:03 alleles were significantly more common (odds ratio, 7.44; p < 0.0001 and odds ratio, 2.50; p < 0.0001, respectively) in AIN patients. In conclusion the HLA haplotype HLA-DR*14- DQB1*05:03 is associated with Danish AIN cases. Among Danish AIN patients, anti-HNA-1a is the most common autoantibody, and the antibody is more common in cases with the FCGR3B*01-,*02+,*03- genotype.
BACKGROUND: Despite SARS-CoV-2 immunizations have started in most countries, children are not currently included in the vaccination programs, thus it remains crucial to define their anti-SARS-CoV-2 immune response in order to minimize the risk for other epidemic waves. This study seeks to provide a description of the virology ad anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunity in children with distinct symptomatology. METHODS: Between March and July 2020, we recruited 15 SARS-CoV-2 asymptomatic (AS) and 51 symptomatic children (SY), stratified according to WHO clinical classification. We measured SARS-CoV-2 viral load using ddPCR and qPCR in longitudinally collected nasopharyngeal swabs samples. To define anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies we measured neutralization activity and total IgG load (Diasorin). We also evaluated antigen-specific B and CD8+T-cells, using a labelled S1+S2 protein and ICAM expression, respectively. Plasma protein profiling was performed with Olink. RESULTS: Virological profiling showed that AS had lower viral load at diagnosis (p=0.004) and faster virus clearance (p=0.0002) compared to SY. Anti-SARS CoV-2 humoral and cellular response did not appear to be associated with the presence of symptoms. AS and SY showed similar titers of SARS-CoV-2 IgG, levels of neutralizing activity, and frequency of Ag-specific B and CD8+T-cells. Whereas pro-inflammatory plasma protein profile was associated to symptomatology. CONCLUSION: We demonstrated the development of anti-SARS-CoV-2 humoral and cellular response with any regards to symptomatology, suggesting the ability of both SY and AS to contribute towards herd immunity. The virological profiling of AS suggested that they have lower virus load associated with faster virus clearance.
Background: Internationally, the COVID-19 pandemic severely curtailed access to hospital facilities for those awaiting elective/semi elective procedures. For allergic children in Ireland, already waiting up to 4yr for an elective oral food challenge (OFC), the restrictions signified indefinite delay. At the time of the initiative there were approx 900 children on the Chidren’s Health Ireland(CHI) waiting list. In July 2020, a project was facilitated by short term(6wk) access to an empty COVID stepdown facility built, in a hotel conference centre, commandeered by the Health Service Executive Ireland(HSE). The aim was to the achieve rapid rollout of an off-site OFC service, delivering high throughput of long waiting patients, while aligning with hospital existing policies and quality standards, international allergy guidelines and national social distancing standards. Methods: The working group engaged key stakeholders to rapidly develop an offsite OFC facility. Consultant Paediatric Allergists, Consultant Paediatricians, trainees and Allergy Clinical Nurse Specialists were seconded from other duties. The facility was already equipped with hospital beds, bedside monitors(BP, Pulse, Oxygen saturation) bedside oxygen. All medication and supplies had to be brought from the base hospital. Daily onsite consultant anaesthetic cover was resourced and a resuscitation room equipped. Standardised food challenge protocols were created. Access to onsite hotel chef facilitated food preparation. A risk register was established. Results: After 6wks planning, the remote centre became operational on 7/9/20, with the capacity of 27 OFC/day. 474 challenges were commenced, 465 (98%) were completed, 9(2%) were inconclusive. 135(29.03%) OFC were positive, 25(5%) causing anaphylaxis. No child required advanced airway intervention. 8 children were transferred to the base hospital. The CHI allergy waiting list was reduced by almost 60% in only 24 days. Conclusions: OFCs remain a vital tool in the care of allergic children, with their cost saving and quality of life benefits negatively affected by delay in their delivery. This project has shown it is possible to have huge impacts on a waiting list efficiently, effectively and safely with good planning and staff buy in – even in a pandemic. Adoption of new, flexible and efficient models of service delivery will be important for healthcare delivery in the post-COVID-19 era.
Background: Chemokines are important mediators in immune cell recruitment, contributing to allergy development. However, extensive studies of chemokines in the circulation in relation to the presence and development of allergic diseases remain scarce. Our aim was to investigate associations of circulating allergy-related chemokines with development of asthma and sensitisation cross-sectionally and longitudinally in a population-based cohort. Methods: The chemokines CCL17, CCL22, CXCL10, CXCL11 and CCL18 were measured in plasma samples from children in the Manchester Asthma and Allergy Study. Samples were available from cord blood at birth (n=376), age 1 (n=195) and 8 years (n=334). Cross-sectional and longitudinal association analyses were performed in relation to asthma and allergic sensitisation, as well as allergic phenotype clusters previously derived using machine learning in the same study population. Results: In children with asthma and/or allergic sensitisation, CCL18 levels were consistently elevated at ages 1 and/or 8 years. In a longitudinal model including information on asthma from 4 time-points (ages 5, 8, 11 and 16 years), we observed a significant association between increasing CCL18 levels at age 1 and a higher risk of asthma from early school age to adolescence (OR=2.9, 95% CI 1.1-7.6, p=0.028). We observed similar associations in longitudinal models for allergic sensitisation. Asthma later in life was preceded by increased CXCL10 levels after birth, and decreased CXCL11 levels at birth. Conclusion: Elevated CCL18 levels throughout childhood precede the development of asthma and allergic sensitisation. The Th1-associated chemokines CXCL10 and CXCL11 also associated with development of both outcomes, with differential temporal effects.
Abstract Background: Ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) is a rare genetic disorder characterized by a distinct range of clinical manifestations, including progressive ataxia, immunodeficiency, and radiosensitivity. Methods: Clinical data, laboratory results, and genetic data were collected from forty-three A-T patients. Whole exome sequencing and Sanger sequencing were done for the patients clinically diagnosed as suffering from A-T. Based on the phenotype severity of the disease, patients were divided into severe and mild sub-groups. Results: The median (IQR) age of diagnosis in this cohort was 5 (3-7) years and various types of clinical manifestations, including fever (p= 0.005), lower respiratory tract infection (p= 0.033), diarrhea (p= 0.014), and hepatosplenomegaly (p= 0.032) were significantly higher amongst patients diagnosed with the severe phenotype. Our results showed a strong correlation between phenotype severity and mutation type. The chance of having severe phenotype in patients who have severe mutations, including frameshift and nonsense, was 7.3 times higher compared to patients who were categorized in the mild genotype group (odds ratio= 7.3, p= 0.006). Thirty-four types of mutations including 9 novel mutations, were observed in our study. Conclusion: Molecular analysis provides the opportunity for accurate diagnosis and timely management in A-T patients with chronic progressive disease, especially infections and the risk of malignancies. This study characterizes for the first time, the broad spectrum of mutations and phenotypes in Iranian A-T patients which are required for carrier detection and reducing the burden of disease in future using the patients’ families and for the public health care system. Keywords: Ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T), ATM, Whole-exome sequencing, Class switching recombination (CSR), phenotype severity.
Background: Exhaled nitric oxide and blood eosinophils are clinical asthma type 2 markers in use. Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is often involved in the inflammation associated with atopic asthma. The effect of both blood eosinophils and allergen-specific IgE on exhaled nitric oxide levels is not completely understood. Twin-design studies can improve understanding of the underlying contribution of genetically and/or environmentally driven inflammation markers in asthma. Our aim was to disentangle the covariance between asthma and exhaled nitric oxide into genetic and environmental contributions that can account for inflammation markers in a paediatric population. Methods: This population-based, cross-sectional twin study enrolled 612 monozygotic (MZ) and same-sex dizygotic (DZ) schoolchildren. Multivariate structural equation modelling was utilized to separate the covariance between asthma and exhaled nitric oxide into genetic and/or environmental effects, taking allergen-specific IgE level and blood eosinophil count into account while controlling for confounding factors. Results: The cross-twin/cross-trait correlations had a higher magnitude in the MZ twins than in the DZ twins indicating that genes affect the association. The likelihood ratio test for model fitting resulted in the AE model as the most parsimonious. A majority, 73%, of the phenotypic correlation between asthma and exhaled nitric oxide, r=0.19 (0.05–0.33), was attributable to genetic effects which mainly was due to the allergen-specific IgE level. Conclusions: This study indicate that the association between asthma - exhaled nitric oxide in children is to a large extent explained by genetics via allergen-specific IgE-level but not blood eosinophils. This might partly explain the clinical heterogeneity in this group. A next step could be to include allergen-specific IgE level in multivariate omic-studies.