European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (ESSCA): polysensitization, 2009-2014

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Dittmar D, Uter W, Bauer A, Fortina AB, Bircher AJ, Czarnecka-Operacz M, Dugonik A, Elsner P, Gallo R, Ghaffar SA, Gimenez-Arnau A, Johnston GA, Krecisz B, Filon FL, Rustemeyer T, Sadowska-Przytocka A, Sanchez-Perez J, Schnuch A, Simon D, Spiewak R, Spring P, Corradin MT, Valiukeviciene S, Vok M, Weisshaar E, Wilkinson M, Schuttelaar ML
Journal: Contact Dermatitis
Publication year: 2018
Volume: 78
Journal issue: 6
Pages range: 373-385
ISSN: 0105-1873


BACKGROUND: Polysensitization, defined as being allergic to three or more haptens from the European baseline series, is considered to reflect increased susceptibility to developing a contact allergy, and is likely to be associated with an impaired quality of life.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the prevalences of polysensitization across Europe and to analyse factors associated with polysensitization.
METHODS: Patch test data collected by the European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (ESSCA; in consecutively patch tested patients from January 2009 to December 2014, comprising 11 countries and 57 departments, were retrospectively analysed.
RESULTS: A total of 86 416 patients were available for analysis, showing a standardized prevalence of polysensitization of 7.02%, ranging from 12.7% (Austria) to 4.6% (Italy). Allergen pairs with the strongest association are reported for the total population, for South Europe, and for North/Central Europe. Overall, polysensitized patients showed a higher percentage of extreme (+++) positive patch test reactions than oligosensitized patients. Female sex, occupational dermatitis and age > 40 years were risk factors for polysensitization.
CONCLUSIONS: The varying prevalences of polysensitization across Europe most likely reflect differences in patient characteristics and referral patterns between departments. Known risk factors for polysensitization are confirmed in a European dermatitis population.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Uter, Wolfgang Prof. Dr.
Professur für Epidemiologie

External institutions with authors

Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Hospital "Santa Maria degli Angeli"
Hospital Universitario De La Princesa
Jagiellonian University / Uniwersytet Jagielloński (UJ)
Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce / Uniwersytet Jana Kochanowskiego w Kielcach
Lausanne University Hospital / Centre hospitalier universitaire vaudois (CHUV)
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Lithuanian University of Health Sciences / Lietuvos sveikatos mokslų universitetas (LSMU)
Maribor University Medical Centre (Maribor UMC)
Poznan University of Medical Sciences / Uniwersytet Medyczny im. Karola Marcinkowskiego w Poznaniu
Technische Universität Dresden
Università degli Studi di Trieste
Universität Bern
Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)
Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg
Universitätsklinikum Jena
Universitätsspital Basel
University of Dundee
University of Genova / Università degli Studi di Genova
University of Groningen / Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
University of Leicester
University of Padua
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) / University Amsterdam

How to cite

Dittmar, D., Uter, W., Bauer, A., Fortina, A.B., Bircher, A.J., Czarnecka-Operacz, M.,... Schuttelaar, M.L. (2018). European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (ESSCA): polysensitization, 2009-2014. Contact Dermatitis, 78(6), 373-385.

Dittmar, Daan, et al. "European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (ESSCA): polysensitization, 2009-2014." Contact Dermatitis 78.6 (2018): 373-385.


Last updated on 2019-13-03 at 18:23