Cockroach exposure and its allergy sensitization in asthma patients


  • Manoj Kumar Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, University of Delhi, India.
  • Rajesh Kumar Gupta Department of Applied Chemistry, School of Vocational Studies and Applied Sciences, Gautam Buddha University, Greater Noida U.P, India.
  • Raj Kumar | Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, University of Delhi, India.
  • Sonam Spalgais Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, University of Delhi, India.
  • Anil Kumar Mavi Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, University of Delhi, India.
  • Kamal Singh Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute, University of Delhi, India.


Asthma is a heterogeneous disease with distinct phenotypes. Serum tIgE, SSIgE and SPT are the methods of evaluating allergen sensitization. The present study evaluates the exposure and sensitization to cockroach (Periplaneta americana) antigens in asthma patients in a metropolitan city of India. The study enrolled 200 consecutive bronchial asthma patients, diagnosed as per GINA guidelines. As per history of exposure to cockroaches, the patients are divided in two groups as exposed and non-exposed asthmatic. All the enrolled subjects underwent SPT against common aeroallergens including cockroach, spirometry and estimation of tIgE level and SSIgE against cockroach. Out of 200 asthma patients, a total of 114 (57%) asthmatic were found SPT positive against one of the common aeroallergens, of which 68 (34%) showed SPT sensitivity against cockroach. A total of 103 (51.5%) patients were found exposed to cockroaches. In the cockroach exposed group, the mean serum tIgE was found significantly higher than the non-exposed group (569.31±224.64 vs 479.29±237 IU/ml; p=0.007). The mean SSIgE against cockroach in exposed groups was found not significant than non-expose group (4.87±11.19 vs 4.11±8.39 KUA/L; p=0.589). The mean tIgE was also not significant in atopic compared to non-atopic asthmatic (553.25±218.12 IU/ml vs 489.1±251.16 IU/ml; p=0.056). The mean SSIgE against cockroach was 5.66±10.45 KUA/L for atopic and 2.96±8.98 KUA/L for non-atopic (p=0.054). The airway obstruction was almost the same in both groups.  Asthmatic patients who were exposed to cockroach and atopic had high tIgE, SSIgE levels and SPT positivity against cockroach antigen compared to non-exposed patients.



PlumX Metrics


Download data is not yet available.


Do DC, Zhao Y, Gao P. Cockroach allergen exposure and risk of asthma. Allergy 2016;71:463-74. DOI:

Chapman MD, Vailes LD, Hayden ML, et al. Structural and antigenic studies of cockroach allergens and their relevance to asthma. AdvExp Med Biol 1996;409:95-101. DOI:

Tatfeng YM, Usuanlele MU, Orukpe A, et al. Mechanical transmission of pathogenic organisms: the role of cockroaches. J Vector Borne Dis 2005;42:129-34.

Sarpong SB, Hamilton RG, Eggleston PA, et al. Socioeconomic status and race as risk factors for cockroach allergen exposure and sensitization in children with asthma. J Allergy ClinImmunol 1996;97:1393-401. DOI:

Uzel A, Capan N, Canbakan S et al. Evaluation of the relationship between cockroach sensitivity and house-dust-mite sensitivity in Turkish asthmatic patients. Respir Med2005;99:1032-7. DOI:

Tandon N, Maitra SB, Saha GK, et al. Role of cockroaches in allergy to house dust in Calcutta, India. Ann Allergy 1990;64:155-7.

Kumar R, Kumar M, Bisht I, et al. Prevalence of aeroallergens in patients of bronchial asthma and/or allergic rhinitis in India based on skin prick test reactivity. Indian J Allergy Asthma Immunol 2017;31:45-55. DOI:

Global Strategy for Asthma Management and Prevention. Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA); 2017. [Last accessed on 2020 June 13]. Available from:

Pellegrino R, Viegi G, Brusasco V, et al. 2005 SERIES “ATS/ERS Task Force: Standardization of Lung Function Testing” Interpretative strategies for Lung Function test. Eur Respir 2005;26:948-68. DOI:

Gaur SN, Kumar R, Singh AB, et al. 2017 Guidelines for practice of allergen immunotherapy in India: 2017 – an update. Indian J Allergy Asthma Immunol 2017;31:3-33. DOI:

Vercelli D. Regulation of IgE synthesis in humans. J Biol Regul Homeost Agents 1995;9:1-6.

Johansson SG. ImmunoCAP Specific IgE test: an objective tool for research and routine allergy diagnosis. Expert Rev Mol Diagn 2004;4:273-9. DOI:

Garcia DP, Corbett ML, Sublett JL, et al. Cockroach allergy in Kentucky: a comparison of inner city, suburban, and rural small town populations. Ann Allergy 1994;72:203-8.

Custovic A, Green R, Taggart SC, et al. Domestic allergens in public places. II: Dog (Can f1) and cockroach (Bla g 2) allergens in dust and mite, cat, dog and cockroach allergens in the air in public buildings. Clin Exp Allergy 1996;26:1246-52. DOI:

Bernton HS, Brown H. Insect Allergy-Preliminary Studies of the Cockroach. J Allergy 1964;35:506-13. DOI:

Mungan D, Celik G, Sin B, et al. Characteristic features of cockroach hypersensitivity in Turkish asthmatic patients. Allergy 1998;53:870-3. DOI:

Moustaki M, Loukou I, Tsabouri S, et al. The role of sensitization to allergen in asthma prediction and prevention. Front Pediatr 2017;5:166. DOI:

Sarinho E, Schor D, Veloso MA, Rizzo JA. There are more asthmatics in homes with high cockroach infestation. Braz J Med Biol Res 2004;37:503-10. DOI:

Perzanowski MS, Platts-Mills T a. E. Further confirmation of the relevance of cockroachand dust mite sensitization to inner-city asthma morbidity. Clin Exp Allergy 2009;39:1291–3. DOI:

Kumar R, Kumar M, Sharan N, Bisht I, Gaur S. Pattern of skin sensitivity to various aeroallergens in patients of bronchial asthma and/or allergic rhinitis in India. Indian J Allergy Asthma Immunol 2012;26:66. DOI:

Ronchetti R, Rennerova Z, Barreto M, et al. The prevalence of atopy in asthmatic children correlates strictly with the prevalence of atopy among nonasthmatic children. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2007;142:79-85. DOI:

Ige OM, Falade AG, Arinola OG. Atopy is a risk factor for adult asthma in urban community of Southwestern Nigeria. Lung India 2012;29:114-9. DOI:

Ghaffari J, Khademloo M, Saffar MJ, et al. Hypersensitivity to house dust mite and cockroach is the most common allergy in north of iran. Iran J Immunol 2010;7:234-9.

Wang W, Huang X, Chen Z, et al. Prevalence and trends of sensitisation to aeroallergens in patients with allergic rhinitis in Guangzhou, China: a 10-year retrospective study. BMJ Open 2016;6:e011085. DOI:

Tayeb MMS, Qutub MM. Predictive accuracy of total IgE in detection of inhalant allergens sensitization. J Fam Med Health Care 2016;2:6-9. DOI:

Platts-Mills TA, Woodfolk JA. Allergens and their role in the allergic immune response. Immunol Rev 2011;242:51-68. DOI:

Froidure A, Mouthuy J, Durham SR, et al. Asthma phenotypes and IgE responses. Eur Respir J 2016;47:304-19. DOI:

Finn PW, Boudreau JO, He H, et al. Children at risk for asthma: home allergen levels, lymphocyte proliferation, and wheeze. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2000;105:933-2. DOI:

Silva JM, Camara AA, Tobias KRC, et al. A prospective study of wheezing in young children: the independent effects of cockroach exposure, breast-feeding and allergic sensitization. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2005;16:393–401. DOI:

Sohn MH, Kim KE. The cockroach and allergic diseases. Allergy Asthma Immunol Res 2012;4:264-9. DOI:

Kang B, Vellody D, Homburger H, et al. Cockroach cause of allergic asthma. Its specificity and immunologic profile. J Allergy ClinImmunol 1979;63:80-6. DOI:

Gao P. Sensitization to cockroach allergen: immune regulation and genetic determinants. Clin Dev Immunol 2012;2012:631847. DOI:

Portnoy J, Chew GL, Phipatanakul W, et al. Environmental assessment and exposure reduction of cockroaches: a practice parameter. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2013;132:802-8. DOI:


Pneumology - Original Articles
Supporting Agencies
Cockroach, asthma, skin prick test, specific IgE, total IgE
  • Abstract views: 173

  • PDF: 59
How to Cite
Kumar, Manoj, Rajesh Kumar Gupta, Raj Kumar, Sonam Spalgais, Anil Kumar Mavi, and Kamal Singh. 2021. “Cockroach Exposure and Its Allergy Sensitization in Asthma Patients”. Monaldi Archives for Chest Disease, May.

Most read articles by the same author(s)