The purpose of the current study was to examine the relationship between past and current intestinal helminth infections, and asthma, allergic rhino-conjunctivitis, and atopic dermatitis.
Material and method: The study was performed on 84 patients aged 2-18 years with a mean of 9.31 +/- 3.75 years. Helminth infection was determined by stool examinations and questionnaire. Asthma was diagnosed by spirometry, atopic dermatitis and allergic rhino-conjunctivitis by skin prick testing.
Results: Stool examinations revealed infection with A. lumbricoides in 5.95% of cases and E. vermicularis in 4.76% of cases. 8 patients had positive tests for at least a helminth. The most frequent respiratory symptoms were caught, wheezing and dispneea. Spirometry showed anormal results in 4.76% of patients and skin tests were positive in 20.24% of cases. 11 patients were diagnosed with allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and 5 with atopic dermatitis. A history of infection with E. vermicularis was associated with increased risk of atopic dermatitis (OR 1.86), asthma (OR 2.11), and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (OR 1.34), and a positive stool examination for A. lumbricoides was negatively associated with asthma (OR 2.60).
Conclusions: Current A. lumbricoides infection protects against asthma while past infection with E. vermicularis are risk factors for allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, asthma and atopic dermatitis. Interactions depend on the type of helminth and time of infestation.