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Original Paper

Food Allergy in Ghanaian Schoolchildren: Data on Sensitization and Reported Food Allergy

Obeng B.B.a, c · Amoah A.S.c · Larbi I.A.c · Yazdanbakhsh M.a · van Ree R.b · Boakye D.A.c · Hartgers F.C.a

Author affiliations

aDepartment of Parasitology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, and bExperimental Immunology and Otorhinolaryngology, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; cDepartement of Parasitology, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Accra, Ghana

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Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2011;155:63–73

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: June 16, 2009
Accepted: June 17, 2010
Published online: November 26, 2010
Issue release date: April 2011

Number of Print Pages: 11
Number of Figures: 2
Number of Tables: 5

ISSN: 1018-2438 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0097 (Online)

For additional information: https://www.karger.com/IAA

Abstract

Background: Epidemiological data on food allergy are scarce in African countries. We studied the prevalence of food sensitization in Ghanaian schoolchildren. Methods: Children (5–16 years; n = 1,714) from 9 Ghanaian schools were given parental consent to participate in the study. Adverse reactions and food consumption were determined by a questionnaire and atopy by skin prick testing (SPT) to peanut and 6 fruits. Subjects with positive SPTs were considered cases (n = 43) and matched with at least 1 control (n = 84), using age, sex, and school as matching criteria. Serum samples from case-control sets were analyzed for specific IgE (sIgE) to foods that elicited a positive SPT response in cases. Results: Overall, 11% of 1,407 children reported adverse reactions to foods, and 5% of 1,431 children showed a positive SPT reaction mostly directed against peanut and pineapple (both 2%). Although there was a positive association between adverse reactions and SPT responses to any food allergen in the urban children (adjusted OR = 3.6, 95% CI 1.2–10.8), most of the reported adverse reactions were not in children showing an SPT reaction to the specific food item. sIgE sensitization was very variable for the different foods, ranging from 0 to 100% in cases, and from 0 to 25% among controls. High IgE levels for a food item significantly increased the risk of SPT positivity to any food item in the urban, but not in the rural, schoolchildren. Conclusions: Specific foods were identified to be allergenic in Ghana. We show a good association between SPT and sIgE in urban, but not in rural, schoolchildren. However, there was no clear association between reported adverse reactions to food and SPT or sIgE.

© 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel


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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: June 16, 2009
Accepted: June 17, 2010
Published online: November 26, 2010
Issue release date: April 2011

Number of Print Pages: 11
Number of Figures: 2
Number of Tables: 5

ISSN: 1018-2438 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0097 (Online)

For additional information: https://www.karger.com/IAA


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