Indoor environmental agents are believed to contribute to allergic disease development. Based upon the prospective cohort "The Environment and Childhood Asthma Study", this thesis explores associations between allergens and microbial substances in the homes and the development of allergic disease in children. Increased levels of cat allergen at 2 years were found to be associated with increased risk of asthma, but not allergic sensitization, at 10 years. On the other hand, the levels of dog allergen, endotoxin (bacteria), and ß(1,3)-glucans (moulds) showed no association with allergic disease. At the age of 10 years, girls had higher levels of cat and dog allergens in mattress dust compared to boys, which could not be explained by more pet keeping. House dust mite allergens were only detected in 12% of the samples, and were associated with symptoms of rhinitis in girls only.
Families of children with rhinitis more often avoided pets whereas asthma did not reduce the likelihood of having a pet at home. Factors like parental smoking, single parenthood and having daughters were also found to be important for the families’ choice in regard to pet keeping.
List of papers
Paper I Bertelsen RJ, Lodrup Carlsen KC, Granum B, Carlsen K-H, Haland G, Devulapalli CS, Munthe-Kaas MC, Mowinckel P, Lovik M. Do allergic families avoid keeping furry pets? Indoor Air, 2010 Jun;20(3):187-95. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0668.2009.00640.x
Paper II Bertelsen RJ, Lodrup Carlsen KC, Carlsen K-H, Granum B, Doekes G, Haland G, Mowinckel P, Lovik M. Childhood asthma and early life exposure to indoor allergens, endotoxin and s(1,3)-glucans. Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 2010 Feb;40(2):307-16 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2009.03424.x
Paper III Bertelsen RJ, Lodrup Carlsen KC, Carlsen K-H. Rhinitis in children; Co-morbidities and phenotypes. Submitted. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2010 Jun;21(4 Pt 1):612-22. DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2010.01066.x
Paper IV Bertelsen RJ, Instanes C, Granum B, Hetland G, Lodrup Carlsen KC, Carlsen K-H, Mowinckel P, Lovik M. Gender differences in indoor allergen exposure and association with current rhinitis. Submitted Clin Exp Allergy. 2010 Sep;40(9):1388-97 DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2222.2010.03543.x