Contact allergy in atopic individuals in relation to allergen-specific immunotherapy

Ingrid Siemund, Monica Hindsén, Eva Netterlid, Nuray Güner, Magnus Bruze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Type I sensitizations and atopic dermatitis (AD) often appear in the same patient. Beneficial effects of allergen-specific immunotherapy (ASIT) in patients with bothADand type I allergies have been reported. The predisposing role of AD to the development of type IV sensitization is discussed. Whether ASIT for type I allergy also influences type IV allergies is unknown. Objectives: To compare the number of contact allergies between patients with and without AD, before and after one year’s treatment with ASIT. Materials and Methods: A controlled, single-blind multicentre study of children/adults with allergic asthma and/or rhinoconjunctivitis, treated or untreated with ASIT, was performed. The history of AD was collected using questionnaires. The number of contact allergies was assessed by patch testing with a baseline series. Results: 205 individuals completed the study; 133 treated with ASIT (exposed) and 72 before starting ASIT (unexposed). For participants with AD, significantly more contact allergies were found in the groups of all children (p = 0.002), all exposed children (p<0.001), and all exposed study persons (p = 0.013). Independent of AD, significantly more contact allergies were noted in the groups of all unexposed adults (p = 0.004) and all unexposed study persons (p = 0.004). Conclusions: The higher number of contact allergies in patients with AD indicates that AD may be a risk factor for type IV sensitization in those with allergic asthma and/or rhinoconjunctivitis. The lower number of contact allergies in patients exposed to ASIT suggests an immunomodulatory effect on type IV sensitization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-280
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Dermatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Dermatology and Venereal Diseases

Free keywords

  • Allergen-specific immunotherapy
  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Atopic eczema
  • Cutaneous delayed-type hypersensitivity
  • Patch testing
  • Type I sensitization


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