Irene A. Larbi

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BACKGROUND Epidemiological data on food allergy are scarce in African countries. We studied the prevalence of food sensitization in Ghanaian schoolchildren. METHODS Children (5-16 years; n = 1,714) from 9 Ghanaian schools were given parental consent to participate in the study. Adverse reactions and food consumption were determined by a questionnaire and(More)
Acute Plasmodium falciparum infection is associated with strongly upregulated cytokine responses that are at least partly the result of activation of Toll-like receptors (TLRs). Whether and how TLR expression/responsiveness changes upon malarial infection is, however, currently not well understood. To assess this, we examined expression of TLRs and used the(More)
BACKGROUND The prevalence of peanut allergy has increased in developed countries, but little is known about developing countries with high peanut consumption and widespread parasitic infections. OBJECTIVE We sought to investigate peanut allergy in Ghana. METHODS In a cross-sectional survey among Ghanaian schoolchildren (n = 1604), data were collected on(More)
BACKGROUND Atopic eczema is an increasing clinical problem in Africa. OBJECTIVE To determine allergic characteristics and to identify possible risk factors for eczema among schoolchildren in an urbanized area in Ghana. PATIENTS AND METHODS Schoolchildren aged 3-16 years with eczema were recruited. For each patient, one to three age- and sex-matched(More)
In the detection of parasitic infection, the traditional methods based on microscopy often have low sensitivity and/or specificity compared with the newer, molecular tests. An assay based on real-time PCR and a reagent strip test for detecting circulating cathodic antigen (CCA) have both now been compared with urine filtration and microscopy, in the(More)
BACKGROUND Factors which determine the development of atopy and the observed rural-urban gradient in its prevalence are not fully understood. High body mass index (BMI) has been associated with asthma and potentially atopy in industrialized countries. In developing countries, the transition from rural to urban areas has been associated with lifestyle(More)
Recent studies indicate that urbanization is having a pronounced effect on disease patterns in developing countries. To understand the immunological basis of this, we examined mRNA expression in whole blood of genes involved in immune activation and regulation in 151 children aged 5–13 years attending rural, urban low socioeconomic status (SES) and urban(More)
Recent studies using an internal transcribed spacer (ITS)-based real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of Schistosoma DNA in urine samples has shown high sensitivity and specificity when performed on controls and known microscopy-positive samples. In this study, using 730 urine samples collected from children in five primary schools(More)
BACKGROUND Epidemiological evidence suggests that helminth infection and rural living are inversely associated with allergic disorders. OBJECTIVE The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of helminth infections and urban versus rural residence on allergy in schoolchildren from Ghana. METHODS In a cross-sectional study of 1385 children from(More)