Suspected cases mainly occur in counties within the Southern, Midwestern, and Mid-Atlantic U.S. Census Bureau regions
By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter
THURSDAY, July 27, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Awareness and knowledge of alpha-gal syndrome (AGS), an emerging, tick bite-associated immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated allergic condition, is limited among health care providers (HCP), and understanding the geographic distribution will help target high-risk populations, according to research published in the July 28 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Ann Carpenter, D.V.M., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a web-based survey of 1,500 HCPs to examine their knowledge of AGS. The authors found that 42 percent of the HCPs surveyed had never heard of AGS, and fewer than one-third of those who had heard of AGS knew how to diagnose the condition. Two-thirds of respondents indicated that guidelines for AGS diagnosis and management would be useful.
Julie M. Thompson, D.V.M., Ph.D., also from the CDC, and colleagues assessed geographic distribution and magnitude of AGS by examining alpha-gal-specific IgE (sIgE) antibody testing results submitted to the commercial laboratory responsible for almost all testing in the United States before 2022. A total of 357,119 tests were submitted during Jan. 1, 2017, to Dec. 31, 2022, corresponding to 295,400 persons. The researchers found that 30.5 percent of people received a positive test result, and the number with a positive test result increased from 13,371 to 18,885 from 2017 to 2021. Suspected cases predominantly occurred in counties within the Southern, Midwestern, and Mid-Atlantic U.S. Census Bureau regions.
“The results of the current study can aid in initiating national surveillance efforts for this emerging allergic condition and for geographically targeting high-risk populations for public health outreach and HCP education,” Thompson and colleagues write.
One author from both studies disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries.
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