Herpesvirus infections and allergic sensitization in children of families with anthroposophic and non-anthroposophic lifestyle – the ALADDIN birth cohort
Article first published online: 20 JAN 2013
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Pediatric Allergy and Immunology
Volume 24, Issue 1, pages 61–65, February 2013
How to Cite
Herpesvirus infections and allergic sensitization in children of families with anthroposophic and non-anthroposophic lifestyle – the ALADDIN birth cohort. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2012:00:000–000., , , , , , .
- Issue published online: 20 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 20 JAN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 30 OCT 2012
- Epstein–Barr virus;
- viral infections
Growing up in families with an anthroposophic lifestyle has been associated with reduced risk of allergic disease in children. The aim of this report was to assess whether children with this lifestyle are infected earlier with Epstein–Barr virus (EBV), which has been associated with reduced risk of allergic disease, and three other herpesviruses potentially involved in allergy development, namely Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV6), Human herpesvirus 7 (HHV7) and cytomegalovirus (CMV).
Within the ALADDIN (Assessment of Lifestyle and Allergic Disease During Infancy), birth cohort study 157 children were categorized according to lifestyle into anthroposophic and non-anthroposophic. IgG-levels for EBV, HHV6, HHV7 and CMV were determined in plasma samples collected at ages 12 and 24 months and from parents. IgE levels against seven common allergens were analyzed at 24 months.
No significant differences in seroprevalence of EBV, HHV7 or CMV were detected at any age between the two lifestyle groups. The seroprevalence of HHV6 was significantly lower in the anthroposophic group at 24 months of age (74.6% vs. 87.5%, p-value 0.048). Further, no significant associations between allergic sensitization and seropositivity to any of the viruses were detected; however, an interaction effect of lifestyle could not be ruled out.
Our results indicate that there is no strong influence of exposure to the anthroposophic lifestyle on the time for infection with EBV, HHV6, HHV7 or CMV. These infections can therefore not be assumed to be important factors in the allergy-protective effect of this lifestyle.