The European baseline series in 10 European Countries, 2005/2006 - Results of the European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies (ESSCA)

Wolfgang Uter, Christiane Rämsch, Werner Aberer, Fabio Ayala, Anna Balato, Aiste Beliauskiene, Anna Belloni Fortina, Andreas Bircher, Jochen Brasch, Mahbub M.U. Chowdhury, Pieter Jan Coenraads, Marie Louise Schuttelaar, Sue Cooper, Maria Teresa Corradin, Peter Elsner, John S.C. English, Manigè Fartasch, Vera Mahler, Peter J. Frosch, Thomas FuchsDavid J. Gawkrodger, Ana Maria Gimènez-Arnau, Cathy M. Green, Helen L. Horne, Riitta Jolanki, Codagh M. King, Beata Krêcisz, Marta Kiec-Swierczynska, Anthony D. Ormerod, David I. Orton, Andrea Peserico, Tapio Rantanen, Thomas Rustemeyer, Jane E. Sansom, Dagmar Simon, Barry N. Statham, Mark Wilkinson, Axel Schnuch

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144 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Continual surveillance based on patch test results has proved useful for the identification of contact allergy. Objectives: To provide a current view on the spectrum of contact allergy to important sensitizers across Europe. Patients/Methods: Clinical and patch test data of 19 793 patients patch tested in 2005/2006 in the 31 participating departments from 10 European countries (the European Surveillance System on Contact Allergies' (ESSCA) were descriptively analysed, aggregated to four European regions. Results: Nickel sulfate remains the most common allergen with standardized prevalences ranging from 19.7% (central Europe) to 24.4% (southern Europe). While a number of allergens shows limited variation across the four regions, such as Myroxylon pereirae (5.3-6.8%), cobalt chloride (6.2-8.8%) or thiuram mix (1.7-2.4%), the differences observed with other allergens may hint on underlying differences in exposures, for example: dichromate 2.4% in the UK (west) versus 4.5-5.9% in the remaining EU regions, methylchloroisothiazolinone/ methylisothiazolinone 4.1% in the South versus 2.1-2.7% in the remaining regions. Conclusions: Notwithstanding residual methodological variation (affecting at least some 'difficult' allergens) tackled by ongoing efforts for standardization, a comparative analysis as presented provides (i) a broad overview on contact allergy frequencies and (ii) interesting starting points for further, in-depth investigation. © 2009 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-38
JournalContact Dermatitis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2009


  • Clinical epidemiology
  • Contact allergy
  • Patch testing


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