Respiratory allergies on the rise in Bengaluru City

Bengaluru,April 10th, 2018 : Allergic disorders are common in our country. In India every 6th person is suffering from allergic disorder. Out of allergy diseases , respiratory allergies are the most significant in Bengaluru city. Respiratory allergy disease has been on upward trend in terms of prevalence as well as severity in the city. Recent study on respiratory allergy done by Neuberg Anand Diagnostics Labs in Bengaluru looked in to the findings of allergy tests done for 318 patients during January- December 2017 revealed that 75 % of patients are allergic to house dust mites which is the main reason for respiratory illness.

Prevalance of air pollution is quite common in Bangalorecity, but staying at indoors are allergic to people due to micro organismpresent inside homes. Of the 318 who underwent allergy test , 111 were between0 and 20 years who are the most affected age group.

Dr. Samrat Bordoloi, Pathologist In-charge of division ofImmunopathology Neuberg Anand Diagnostic Laboratory, Bengaluru  who conducted this studysaid that “ As alaboratory our focus is on the in vitro tests which include blood-based teststo screen for allergies and identify specific allergens causing the symptomswhich play a crucial role in patient management. Test results reflect theallergy trends. Most of the allergies are seasonal, but we look at patients whosuffer allergic rhinitis and chronic cough irrespective of season.  More hygiene conscious and children are notexposed to outdoor allergens like pollen has spurred the immune system to overreact on house dust allergen due to lack of exposure to natural allergen in theoutdoor environment. Hypothesis is that high standard of living  have killed immunity to allergens”.

Dr Gayathri Pandit,Consultant ENT surgeon and AllergySpecialist, Samarth ENT and Allergy Centre, Bangalore said that “House dustmite remains the main respiratory allergen contributing to nearly 75 percent ofsensitivity. Next 20 percent is from pollens of which Parthenium, Amaranthusspinosum, Prosopis julifera and Ricinus communis, i.e castor oil plantcontribute majorly to respiratory illness”.

Allergic rhinitis is the most common form of non-infectiousrhinitis, affecting 500 million people worldwide, with one-fifth of thoseaffected living in the Indian subcontinent.Several studies in Bangalore cityhave suggested dues to a phenomenal growth and a distinct shift of itsarboriculture in the last 2 decades, there has certainly been change inallergen profile has been suspected. Large outskirts around the city havebecome residential and, office and commercial hubs resulting in a considerablechange in pollen allergen flora.

This makes comprehensive allergy profiling a crucial step inmanagement of allergy.

A retrospective review ofthe study for the previous yearindicates

1.Dust mites continues to be a major allergen associatedwith symptoms with 75 % of patients testing positive.

2.The other prominent allergens we could identifyinclude-  Cockroach allergens (8%),Cultivated Rye (7%) and Sunflower pollen (6%)

3.The other allergens we could identify included animalassociated allergens- dog hair, cat dander, chicken feathers, plant associatedallergens- Eucalyptus, Ragweed, Timothy grass and trichophyton

4.This provides an insight to understand the allergenprofiling required in the region however two factors need to be consideredbefore drawing further conclusions

There is cross-reactivity between allergen antigens whichneeds to be evaluated before identifying potential allergens. The symptoms andtheir profiling play a crucial role in effective use of testing strategies inboth diagnosis and prognosis

In conclusion we want to state that a patient centricpartnership between clinical specialists and diagnostic laboratories withconstructive counselling efforts is the need of the hour for effective patientmanagement.

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