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Influence of Parasitic Worm Infections on Allergy Diagnosis in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Related Articles Influence of Parasitic Worm Infections on Allergy Diagnosis in Sub-Saharan Africa. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2017 Sep 01;17(10):65 Authors: Amoah AS, Boakye DA, Yazdanbakhsh M, van Ree R Abstract Epidemiological studies from Sub-Saharan Africa indicate that allergies are on the rise in this region especially in urban compared to rural areas. This increase has been linked to improved hygiene, lifestyle changes, and lower exposure to pathogens in childhood. Reduced exposure to parasitic worm (helminth) infections and allergy outcomes has been the focus of a number of population studies over the years. Paradoxically, there are parallels in the immune responses to helminths and to allergies. Both conditions are associated with elevated levels of immunoglobulin E, high numbers of T helper 2 cells, eosinophils, and mast cells. These immune parallels have meant that the diagnosis of allergies in parts of the world where helminths are endemic can be hampered. The aim of this review is to examine observations from population studies conducted in Sub-Saharan Africa that demonstrate how helminth infections influence the parameters used to diagnose allergy outcomes in this region. We explore specifically how helminth infections hinder the in vitro diagnosis of allergic sensitization, influence the clinical manifestations of allergy, and also the effect of anthelmintic treatment on allergy outcomes. Advancing our understanding of how helminths influence allergy diagnosis is imperative for the development of improved tools to assess, diagnose, and treat allergic disorders in both helminth-endemic and non-endemic countries worldwide. PMID: 28861721 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Epidemiological studies from Sub-Saharan Africa indicate that allergies are on the rise in this region especially in urban compared to rural areas. This increase has been linked to improved hygiene, lifestyle changes, and lower exposure to pathogens in childhood. Reduced exposure to parasitic worm (helminth) infections and allergy outcomes has been the focus of a number of population studies over the years. Paradoxically, there are parallels in the immune responses to helminths and to allergies. Both conditions are associated with elevated levels of immunoglobulin E, high numbers of T helper 2 cells, eosinophils, and mast cells. These immune parallels have meant that the diagnosis of allergies in parts of the world where helminths are endemic can be hampered. The aim of this review is to examine observations from population studies conducted in Sub-Saharan Africa that demonstrate how helminth infections influence the parameters used to diagnose allergy outcomes in this region. We explore specifically how helminth infections hinder the in vitro diagnosis of allergic sensitization, influence the clinical manifestations of allergy, and also the effect of anthelmintic treatment on allergy outcomes. Advancing our understanding of how helminths influence allergy diagnosis is imperative for the development of improved tools to assess, diagnose, and treat allergic disorders in both helminth-endemic and non-endemic countries worldwide.

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Tags: Jamu lenyol, Public health
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