Jaw-Ji Tsai, Ho-Jen Peng, Horng-Der Shen
Epidemiological studies have suggested that either environmental exposure or immunization with Mycobacterium bovis-Bacillus Calmette-Guerin provides protection against atopy and asthma in Japanese school children. Tuberculin skin tests and tests of airway hyperresponsiveness were performed in asthmatic patients in the course of investigating the effect of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus immunotherapy. A total of 16 asthmatics and 20 normal individuals were recruited in this study. The results show that 8 (57.1%) of 14 asthmatic patients and 11 (55%) of 20 normal individuals had a positive tuberculin response. Sixteen asthmatic patients received immunotherapy (6 with D. pteronyssinus, 6 with D. pteronyssinus in conjunction with Bacillus Calmette-Guerin, 4 with buffered saline). Results show that there were no statistically significant changes in airway hyperreactivity to methacholine, the ratio of forced expiratory volume (in 1 sec) to forced vital capacity, and D. pteronyssinus-specific immunoglobulin E before and 1 month after immunotherapy in the response to therapy in all 3 groups. The prevalence of positive tuberculin responses in both normal individuals and asthmatic patients was high in Taiwan. Immunotherapy with D. pteronyssinus in conjunction with Bacillus Calmette-Guerin did not alter the non-specific airway hyperreactivity or D. pteronyssinus-specific immunoglobulin E in D. pteronyssinus-sensitive allergic asthmatic patients.
J Microbiol Immunol Infect 2002;35:99-102.