High salivary secretory IgA antibody levels are associated with less late-onset wheezing in IgE-sensitized infants.
Low levels of secretory IgA (SIgA) and transient IgA deficiency have been associated with an increased risk for allergy, but data are conflicting. The aim was to assess the relationship between salivary SIgA antibody levels at 1 yr and wheezing at age four in a birth cohort, in particular the possible protective role of salivary SIgA in sensitized children. Saliva samples were obtained from all children (n = 67) with a positive skin prick test (SPT) at 1 yr and 212 children with a negative SPT. In all, 200 of these children responded to questionnaires at 4 yrs and 183 were skin prick tested at that age. The levels of salivary SIgA and salivary IgA antibodies to the most common food allergen egg and inhalant allergen cat were analyzed by ELISA. Serum was analyzed for IgE antibodies to egg and cat. Development of late-onset wheezing was associated with low SIgA levels in children with positive SPT to at least one allergen both at 1 and 4 yrs of age (p = 0.04), as well as in children with circulating IgE antibodies to egg or cat at 1 yr (p = 0.02). None of nine persistently sensitized children with SIgA levels in the upper quartile developed wheezing, when compared to 10/20 children with lower levels (p = 0.01). Older siblings, more than three infections during infancy, at least one smoking parent, and male gender, were all associated with SIgA in the upper quartile. In conclusion, high levels of SIgA antibodies in sensitized infants were associated with significantly less late-onset wheezing, supporting a protective role against development of asthmatic symptoms. Recurrent infections and other factors supporting an increased microbial pressure during infancy were associated with high levels of salivary SIgA. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology 2011. Doi no: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2010.01106.x
Publication Type: Journal article
Publisher: Pediatric Allergy and Immunology