Sensitization to rodents (mouse/rat) in an urban atopic population without occupational exposure living in Naples, Italy


Background: Until now no data on allergic sensitization to rodents allergens in Western Europe and Italy are available. The aim of this report was to investigate clinical significance and characteristics of IgE-mediated sensitization to mouse/rat (M/Rt) allergens in atopic subjects not occupationally exposed to these animals and living in urban area of Naples. Methods: In 1765 consecutive outpatients, we selected all subjects with an immediate skin reaction toM/Rt dander. Clinical history including a careful evaluation of the modality of exposure, the results of skin-prick tests (SPTs) and specific IgE antibodies were recorded. Results: Among 1185 SPT positive patients, 22 were sensitized to M/Rt dander (respectively 1.60% and 0.59%). No patient was mono sensitized. Only three of 22 patients reported indoor conditions suggesting presence of rodents allergens at home. All patients exhibited low degree of SPT positivity and low levels of circulating IgE antibodies to M/Rt.High frequency of concomitant allergic sensitization to pet (and other animal) dander has been found. Conclusions:Our results suggest that role of allergic sensitization to rodents is negligible in atopic subjects without occupational exposure living in urban area of Naples. However, highly atopic individuals especially those already sensitized to common pet dander should be tested by SPTs/evaluation of serum specific IgE to rodents in the case they could begin an occupational exposure toM/Rt or keeping these animals as pets.

Table of Content: Vol. 44 (No. 5) 2012 September

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