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Original Article


Direct and prolonged exposure to dogs does not influence the degree of skin prick test positivity to dog allergen


G. Liccardi1, G. D’Amato1, G. Walter Canonica2, M. Hrabina3, A. Piccolo1,
M. D’Amato1, G. Passalacqua2

1 Department of Chest Diseases Division of Pneumology and Allergology, A. Cardarelli Hospital, Naples, Italy
2 Allergy and Respiratory Diseases, Dept of Internal Medicine, University of Genoa, Italy
3 Standardization Department, Stallergenes S.A., Antony Cedex, France

J Invest Allergol Clin Immunol 2005; Vol. 15(3): 167-171



Background. The relationship between pet ownership and the risk of developing allergic sensitization to pet allergens is still controversial. We assessed the possible effect of direct exposure to dog allergen on skin reactivity in dogsensitized patients. Methods. We studied, in a case-control trial, 116 adults sensitized to dog allergens (55 with a dog at home for at least 10 years and 61 without it). The degree of response was assessed by skin prick test, performed in quadruplicate with three concentrations of allergenic extract: A (1:20 w/v), B (1:200 w/v) and C (1:2000 w/v). The mean diameter of each wheal was assessed using a visilog image analysis software.

. No significant difference between the two groups in the wheal diameters induced by the three concentrations of dog allergen could be demonstrated.

The results of this study suggest that direct dog exposure in adults with respiratory allergy is not associated with greater cutaneous response to dog allergens, as compared to non exposed subjects.

Key words: Allergic sensitization, dog allergen, exposure, respiratory allergy, skin prick test.