Transient suppression of atopy in early childhood is associated with high vaccination coverage.

Christoph Grüber, Sabina Illi, Susanne Lau, Renate Nickel, Johannes Forster, Wolfgang Kamin, Carl Peter Bauer, Volker Wahn, Ulrich Wahn

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91 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To analyze prevalences of allergic sensitization and atopic disease in relation to vaccination coverage. METHODS: A German atopy risk-enhanced birth cohort of 1314 neonates who were born in 1990 in 5 German cities was studied. A total of 943 children participated in the follow-up visit at 5 years of age. Atopic symptoms and diagnoses (derived from structured interviews), total serum immunoglobulin E, and specific immunoglobulin E against 9 common allergens (CAP Radio-Allergo-Sorbent Test Fluoro-Enzyme Immunoassay) were evaluated. Children were grouped into dose percentiles according to cumulative doses of any vaccine given up to 5 years of age (<10%, 0-11 doses; 10%-50%, 12-14 doses; 51%-90%, 15-20 doses; >90%, 21-27 doses). RESULTS: The cumulative vaccine dose was inversely related to atopic dermatitis prevalences at 6 months (13.8%, 5.2%, 5.1%, and 4.5%), 2 years (16.9%, 10.9%, 7.4%, and 3.7%), 3 years (27.6%, 16.4%, 13.5%, and 4.5%), and 5 years (28.3%, 16.0%, 9.3%, and 11.9%). Asthma followed a similar pattern at age 3 (22.4%, 8.6%, 6.7%, and 6.3%), age 4 (20.0%, 8.6%, 8.9%, and 8.1%), and age 5 (20.8%, 12.6%, 10.3%, and 5.5%). Allergic sensitization rates were inversely related to the cumulative vaccine dose at age 2 (37.5%, 29.1%, 23.8%, and 12.9%). CONCLUSION: Children with a higher vaccination coverage seemed to be transiently better protected against development of atopy in the first years of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e282-288
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2003
Externally publishedYes


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