Summary: Background: Recent studies suggest that Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin sensitization is a risk factor for asthma. However, there is a paucity of epidemiologic evidence on adult-onset asthma in community-based populations. Objective: We sought to evaluate the epidemiology and the clinical significance of staphylococcal enterotoxin sensitization in community-based adult populations. Methods: The present analyses were performed using the baseline data set of Korean adult population surveys, consisting of 1080 adults (mean age = 60.2 years) recruited from an urban and a rural community. Questionnaires, methacholine challenge tests, and allergen skin tests were performed for defining clinical phenotypes. Sera were analysed for total IgE and enterotoxin-specific IgE using ImmunoCAP. Results: Staphylococcal enterotoxin sensitization (≥ 0.35 kU/L) had a prevalence of 27.0%. Risk factors were identified as male sex, current smoking, advanced age (≥ 61 years), and inhalant allergen sensitization. Current asthma was mostly adult onset (≥ 18 years old) and showed independent associations with high enterotoxin-specific IgE levels in multivariate logistic regression tests. In multivariate linear regressions, staphylococcal enterotoxin-specific IgE level was identified as the major determinant factor for total IgE level. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: Staphylococcal enterotoxin sensitization was independently associated with adult-onset asthma in adult community populations. Strong correlations between the enterotoxin-specific IgE and total IgE levels support the clinical significance. The present findings warrant further studies for the precise roles of staphylococcal enterotoxin sensitization in the asthma pathogenesis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy