We computed skin-test sensitivity levels in 485 adults puncture-tested with eight standardized, high-quality inhalant allergens tested at single concentrations. In order to quantitate the "average" IgE-mediated skin sensitivity of each subject, we used both nonparametric and parametric statistical methods to generate two "allergy indices" (Allergy Index I and Allergy Index II) based on sensitivity end-point data from the subpopulations of individuals positive to six of the eight allergens. For the 192 skin test-positive subjects, Allergy Index I and Allergy Index II were significantly correlated with each other (rs = 0.98, p < 0.001) and with the number of positive skin-test reactions (rs ∼- 0.9, p < 0.001) as well as with log[total serum IgE] (r ∼- 0.4, p < 0.01). In 102 ragweed-positive subjects, log[specific IgE to ragweed] was significantly correlated with ragweed-specific "ragweed indices I and II" (r ∼- 0.6, p < 0.01). Furthermore, the average daily symptom scores reported by 14 ragweed-positive subjects during the ragweed pollination season were significantly correlated with ragweed indices I and II (p < 0.05). We propose the use of Allergy Index II in epidemiologic and genetic studies of allergic phenotypes as well as in clinical decisions for diagnosis and immunotherapeutic intervention.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy