In search for predictive factors for atopy in human cord blood


Natalija Novak, MD
Department of Dermatology
Sigmund-Freud-Str. 25
53105 Bonn


Since early prevention is regarded as an important corner stone in the management of atopic diseases, the identification of reliable markers detecting individuals at risk are of major interest. Therefore, many efforts have been made to unravel reliable predictors for atopy which might identify children at risk and allow the initiation of preventive strategies at an early stage. In the past, much scientific energy has been forced in particular on the development of as noninvasive methods as possible to reach this goal. It is obvious that the identification of markers for atopy at the earliest time of life – namely immediately after birth – represents one of the most attractive attempts. In consequence various studies have been initiated to address this issue investigating markers for atopy in cord blood. Most of them have been geared to our current knowledge about cellular and soluble factors which are dysregulated in adolescent atopic individuals. Although the findings of these studies will improve our knowledge about the initial evolution of atopy, several parameters evaluated did not show any association or have led to almost conflicting results. In order to provide an up-date about the current developments in this field, recent research findings on predictive factors for atopy in cord blood are summarized in the following synopsis.