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Latent class analysis reveals clinically relevant atopy phenotypes in 2 birth cohorts


Abstract

BACKGROUND: Phenotypes of childhood-onset asthma are characterized by distinct trajectories and functional features. For atopy, definition of phenotypes during childhood is less clear.
OBJECTIVE: We sought to define phenotypes of atopic sensitization over the first 6 years of life using a latent class analysis (LCA) integrating 3 dimensions of atopy: allergen specificity, time course, and levels of specific IgE (sIgE).
METHODS: Phenotypes were defined by means of LCA in 680 children of the Multizentrische Allergiestudie (MAS) and 766 children of the Protection against allergy: Study in Rural Environments (PASTURE) birth cohorts and compared with classical nondisjunctive definitions of seasonal, perennial, and food sensitization with respect to atopic diseases and lung function. Cytokine levels were measured in the PASTURE cohort.
RESULTS: The LCA classified predominantly by type and multiplicity of sensitization (food vs inhalant), allergen combinations, and sIgE levels. Latent classes were related to atopic disease manifestations with higher sensitivity and specificity than the classical definitions. LCA detected consistently in both cohorts a distinct group of children with severe atopy characterized by high seasonal sIgE levels and a strong propensity for asthma; hay fever; eczema; and impaired lung function, also in children without an established asthma diagnosis. Severe atopy was associated with an increased IL-5/IFN-γ ratio. A path analysis among sensitized children revealed that among all features of severe atopy, only excessive sIgE production early in life affected asthma risk.
CONCLUSIONS: LCA revealed a set of benign, symptomatic, and severe atopy phenotypes. The severe phenotype emerged as a latent condition with signs of a dysbalanced immune response. It determined high asthma risk through excessive sIgE production and directly affected impaired lung function.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Phenotypes of childhood-onset asthma are characterized by distinct trajectories and functional features. For atopy, definition of phenotypes during childhood is less clear.
OBJECTIVE: We sought to define phenotypes of atopic sensitization over the first 6 years of life using a latent class analysis (LCA) integrating 3 dimensions of atopy: allergen specificity, time course, and levels of specific IgE (sIgE).
METHODS: Phenotypes were defined by means of LCA in 680 children of the Multizentrische Allergiestudie (MAS) and 766 children of the Protection against allergy: Study in Rural Environments (PASTURE) birth cohorts and compared with classical nondisjunctive definitions of seasonal, perennial, and food sensitization with respect to atopic diseases and lung function. Cytokine levels were measured in the PASTURE cohort.
RESULTS: The LCA classified predominantly by type and multiplicity of sensitization (food vs inhalant), allergen combinations, and sIgE levels. Latent classes were related to atopic disease manifestations with higher sensitivity and specificity than the classical definitions. LCA detected consistently in both cohorts a distinct group of children with severe atopy characterized by high seasonal sIgE levels and a strong propensity for asthma; hay fever; eczema; and impaired lung function, also in children without an established asthma diagnosis. Severe atopy was associated with an increased IL-5/IFN-γ ratio. A path analysis among sensitized children revealed that among all features of severe atopy, only excessive sIgE production early in life affected asthma risk.
CONCLUSIONS: LCA revealed a set of benign, symptomatic, and severe atopy phenotypes. The severe phenotype emerged as a latent condition with signs of a dysbalanced immune response. It determined high asthma risk through excessive sIgE production and directly affected impaired lung function.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Immunology, Immunology and Allergy
Language:English
Date:June 2017
Deposited On:16 Feb 2018 19:39
Last Modified:19 Aug 2018 14:16
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0091-6749
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2016.08.046
PubMed ID:27771325
Project Information:
  • : FunderFP7
  • : Grant ID250268
  • : Project TitleHERA - Host-environment interactions in the protection from asthma and allergies

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