Evidence for common genetic elements in allergic disease

Kathleen C. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Genetic research in allergic disease has focused primarily on asthma and its associated phenotypes (eg, total IgE), with very little attention given to the presence or absence of concomitant allergic diseases, especially allergic rhinitis and atopic dermatitis. Because asthma, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis share common systemic characteristics, it is reasonable to propose that a number of susceptibility genes could contribute to the allergic process regardless of the specific clinical phenotype. Consequently, the many genetic linkages previously reported for asthma may not be specific for asthma per se but rather may reflect an overall predisposition for allergic disease. Finally, epidemiologic data suggest that asthma and allergic rhinitis represent a continuum of disease, whereby those individuals with less severe disease will express rhinitis without asthma and those individuals with more severe disease express more than 1 phenotype. Alternatively, it is plausible that, in addition to the 'allergic disease genes,' there are 'phenotype-specific genes' or possibly certain combinations of susceptibility genes (eg, gene-gene interactions) that contribute to the expression of asthma, allergic rhinitis, or atopic dermatitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalThe Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number5 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 2000


  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Asthma
  • Phenotype

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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