Determination of Geohelminthiasis and Its Association with Allergic Sensitization among Selected Children in Batangas, Philippines

  •  Carina Magbojos    
  •  Shereen Chua    
  •  Charlene Alegria    
  •  Faustina Macalalad    
  •  Anne Malayba    
  •  Alyssa Mandigma    
  •  Oliver Dumaoal    


Several studies have explored the cross-reactivity between geohelminthiasis and allergy which share the same immune response in humans by triggering the increase in serum IgE level. Yet, the role of soil-transmitted intestinal parasitism as a protective or contributing factor for allergy remains inconclusive. In this study, the association of geohelminthiasis with allergic sensitization was investigated in a cohort of 50 children aged 5 to 12 years old residing in the areas of Batangas, Philippines where parasitism is prevalent. Stool samples of the subjects were qualitatively examined for the presence of helminth infection through modified Kato-Katz technique. They were also assessed for allergic diseases using the modified International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood Phase I questionnaire. Fecalysis results were correlated with their serum total IgE (tIgE) levels and screening test results for allergic sensitization to common aeroallergens and food allergens determined through ImmunoCAP® system. Of the participants, 78% were under 10 years old while 22% were aged 10 years old and above. Mixed infection of Ascaris lumbricoides and Trichuris trichiura were found to be the most common (40%) followed by trichuriasis (34%) and ascariasis (26%). Atopic allergy to inhalants is prevalent in children under 10 years old (74.36%) whereas, some of them (5.13%) are fX2 positive which confirms the participants’ allergy to seafood. It was revealed that the occurrence of geohelminthic infection and allergy may affect any child regardless of age and serum total IgE level does not considerably vary with age, geohelminthiasis and presence of allergy. Hence, geohelminthiasis does not play contributory nor inhibitory role in allergic sensitization as established by a 0.05 level of significance (p≤0.05).

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