Epidemiologic studies have shown an association between mouse allergen exposure and asthma morbidity among urban populations, but confirmatory challenge studies in community populations have not been performed. This study was designed to examine the clinical relevance of mouse sensitization using a nasal challenge model. Forty-nine urban adults with asthma underwent skin-prick testing (SPT) and intradermal testing (IDT) with mouse epithelia extract. A positive SPT was defined as a net wheal size ≥3 mm and a positive IDT was defined as a net wheal size ≥6 mm using a 1:100 dilution of extract (1:10 w/v was obtained from Greer Laboratories (Lenoir, NC) as a single lot [Mus m 1 concentration = 2130 ng/mL]). Mouse-specific IgE (m-IgE) was measured by ImmunoCAP (Phadia, Uppsala, Sweden). Nasal challenge was performed with increasing concentrations of mouse epithelia extract and symptoms were assessed by visual analog scale. A positive challenge was defined as a 20-mm increase in the scale. The age range of the 49 participants was 18-50 years; 41% were men and 86% were black. Fourteen participants were SPT+ to mouse, 15 participants were SPT+ but (IDT+), and 20 participants were negative on both SPT- and IDT- (SPT -/IDT-). Sixty-four percent of the SPT+ group, 40% of the IDT+ group, and 20% of the SPT-/IDT- group had a positive nasal challenge. Sixty-seven percent (10/15) of those who were either SPT+ or m-IgE+ had a positive nasal challenge. SPT or the combination of SPT plus m-IgE performed best in diagnosing mouse allergy. The great majority of mouse-sensitized urban adults with asthma appear to have clinically relevant sensitization. Urban adults with asthma should be evaluated for mouse sensitization using SPT or SPT plus m-IgE testing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine