Staphylococcus aureus linked to food allergies
Staphylococcus aureus infection is associated with food sensitization and allergy independently of eczema severity, a recent study has shown.
Drawing from the Learning Early About Peanut Allergy study (n=640), researchers determined that almost half (48.8 percent) of the participants had some form of S aureus colonization on at least one study visit. Levels of specific immunoglobulin E (sIgE) were used to assess sensitization to common food allergens, while eczema severity was clinically evaluated by a paediatric allergy expert.
There was a significant correlation between the production of sIgE and testing positive for S aureus at any point from baseline to 60 months. For instance, high levels of sIgE to hen’s egg white and peanuts was associated with positive skin S aureus at any time point.
Multivariate logistic regression models further showed that participants who had skin and/or nasal S aureus colonization were significantly more likely to have persistent egg allergy than those who did not have the bacteria (odds ratio [OR], 1.57, 95 percent CI, 1.02–2.42; p=0.042). This effect was stronger for nasal (OR, 1.61, 1.03–2.52; p=0.036) than skin (OR, 1.39, 0.88–2.19; p=0.160) colonization.
The role of S aureus was stronger for peanut sensitization, both for skin (OR, 2.94, 1.11–7.76; p=0.029) and nasal (OR, 2.41, 1.04–5.59; p=0.04) colonization. All risk analyses were corrected for the severity of eczema at 60 and 72 months.