High rate of house dust mite sensitization in a shrimp allergic southern Ontario population
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BACKGROUND: Shrimp and house dust mite (HDM) allergies are common in Canadians. Often, both of these allergies occur in the same patient. This may be due to homology of tropomyosin or other potentially shared proteins. The aim of our study was to assess the frequency of house dust mite sensitization in a shrimp allergic Canadian population. METHODS: We undertook a retrospective chart review of shrimp allergic patients at an outpatient allergy clinic in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Our primary endpoint was to assess for presence of HDM sensitization in this population. Patients were categorized into approximate quartiles. We assessed the severity of the shrimp reactions, correlated shrimp skin test size to HDM skin test size, and measured the proportion of patients with atopic symptoms. RESULTS: We identified 95 shrimp allergic patients who were tested for house dust mite. 86 (90.5%) of these patients had a positive skin test to HDM. Patients with a shrimp skin test ≥5 mm were 5.31 times (95% CI, 1.55-18.14; p = 0.008) more likely to exhibit a dust mite skin test ≥5 mm than patients with a shrimp skin test <5 mm. The odds of a patient with a shrimp skin test between 10 and 18 mm having a larger HDM skin test were 3.93 times (95% CI 1.03-14.98, p = 0.045) the odds for a patient with a shrimp skin test size between 3 and 4 mm. We did not find a correlation between shrimp skin test size and shrimp reaction symptom grade (p = 0.301). CONCLUSION: In our Canadian patients, we found a large majority of shrimp allergic patients to be sensitized to HDM. We found that patients with a large skin test to shrimp were more likely to have a large skin test to HDM compared to those patients with a small skin test to shrimp. We did not find a correlation between shrimp skin test size and shrimp reaction symptom severity. Most of these patients had symptoms of rhinitis and/or asthma that may have been caused by house dust mite allergy.
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