Chickenpox in childhood is associated with decreased atopic disorders, IgE, allergic sensitization, and leukocyte subsets

Authors

  • Jonathan I. Silverberg,

    1. Department of Dermatology, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital and Beth Israel Medical Centers, New York, NY, USA
    2. Department of Medicine, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA
    3. School of Public Health, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA
    4. Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at SUNY Downstate, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA
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  • Edward Kleiman,

    1. Department of Medicine, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA
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  • Nanette B. Silverberg,

    1. Department of Dermatology, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital and Beth Israel Medical Centers, New York, NY, USA
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  • Helen G. Durkin,

    1. Department of Medicine, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA
    2. Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at SUNY Downstate, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA
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  • Rauno Joks,

    1. Department of Medicine, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA
    2. Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at SUNY Downstate, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA
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  • Tamar A. Smith-Norowitz

    1. Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at SUNY Downstate, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA
    2. Department of Pediatrics, State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA
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  • Previous presentations: Society for Investigative Dermatology 2011 Annual Meeting, Pheonix, AZ.

Jonathan I. Silverberg, MD, PhD, MPH, Department of Dermatology, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital and Beth Israel Medical Centers, Suite 11B, 1090 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10025, USA.
Tel.: 212-523-3812
Fax: 212-523-3808
E-mail: JonathanISilverberg@Gmail.com

Abstract

To cite this article: Silverberg JI, Kleiman E, Silverberg NB, Durkin HG, Joks R, Smith-Norowitz TA. Chickenpox in childhood is associated with decreased atopic disorders, IgE, allergic sensitization, and leukocyte subsets. Pediatric Allergy Immunology 2012: 23: 50–58.

Abstract

Background:  Wild-type varicella zoster infection (WTVZV) up to 8 yr of age has been shown to protect against atopic dermatitis (AD) and asthma. We sought to determine whether WTVZV in childhood protects against atopic disorders, allergic sensitization or decreases serum Immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels.

Methods:  We conducted a retrospective, practice-based study of outpatient pediatric practices in NY. One hundred children with WTVZV up to 8 yr of age and 323 children who received varicella vaccine (VV) were randomly selected.

Results:  WTVZV up to 8 yr of age is associated with decreased odds of subsequent asthma (exact logistic regression; OR = 0.12, 95% CI = 0.03–0.57, p = 0.003), allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (OR = 0.16, 95% CI = 0.05–0.49, p = 0.0003), and AD (OR = 0.57, 95% CI = 0.33–0.96, p = 0.02), but not food allergies (p = 0.78); decreased total serum IgE levels [mixed linear model, LSM (95% CI): 129.09 (33.22–501.63) vs. 334.21 (102.38–1091.04) IU/ml; p = 0.02] remained significant at all time intervals after WTVZV (<5, 5–10, and >10) compared with VV (p = 0.003–0.03). WTVZV was associated with decreased allergic sensitization (logistic regression, OR = 0.11, 95% CI = 0.03–0.38, p = 0.0004). WTVZV is also associated with persistently decreased numbers of peripheral blood lymphocytes (p < 0.0001) for up to 12 yr (p = 0.0003–0.047), monocytes (p = 0.002) for up to 16 yr (p < 0.001) and basophils at ages 4–6, 10–12, and 14–16 (p < 0.03).

Conclusion:  WTVZV up to 8 yr of age protects against atopic disorders, which is likely mediated by suppression of IgE production and allergic sensitization, as well as altered leukocyte distributions.

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