Correlation between fungal sensitisation in childhood persistent asthma and disease severity
Fungal sensitisation in adults is associated with severe asthma but prevalence and clinical significance of fungal sensitisation remains unclear in paediatric population. The aim of this study was to study the association of fungal sensitisation with disease severity in children with persistent asthma. One hundred children with persistent asthma in age group 7‐15 years, symptom duration >2 years and forced expiratory volume in first second >50% of expected were enrolled. Skin prick test (SPT) to 8 fungal antigens and total serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) were done. Fungal sensitisation was described as positive SPT (wheel diameter more than 3 mm larger than the negative control) to any of the fungal antigens and total serum IgE >200 ng/mL. Seventeen patients showed evidence of fungal sensitisation, of which, 6 demonstrated sensitisation to multiple fungi. 17.6% patients with fungal sensitisation had severe asthma as compared to 2.4% patients without fungal sensitisation (P value .032). Significant increase in family history of allergic comorbidities was noted among patients with fungal sensitisation (47.1% vs 21.7%, P value .03). The most common implicated organism in fungal sensitised patients was Aspergillus flavus (47.1%). The results of this study, a first among Indian children with asthma, suggest that children with fungal sensitisation have more severe asthma as compared to children without fungal sensitisation.
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