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Being atopic means carrying the atopy gene.

  • Atopy and Allergy may have more implications for some families than others, when many family members are concerned.
  • The gene’s presence will induce a tendency to develop IgE antibodies (IgE is the allergy antibody, which can be measured precisely against cats or pollens for instance).
  • When both parents are atopic, their child is highly at risk of carrying the gene (genotype).
  • Allergic symptoms (phenotype) are equally transmittable. For instance, if both parents suffer from allergic asthma when in contact with a cat, their children will have a tendency to develop the same allergy (rather than a separate allergy, i.e. to food)
  • The atopic child is genetically predisposed to produce less IgE antibodies, especially when he is in frequent contact with the allergens, this in opposition to a non-atopic child.
  • When allergic contact is frequent or long-lasting, the atopic child becomes hypersensitized and the risk of developing an actual allergy (i.e. with symptoms) is significantly increased.

Positive prick-test reaction (allergy skin tests) signifies an atopy.→ We would like to stress that an atopic person may quite possibly be only hypersensitized and will not necessarily develop allergic symptoms in the future.  


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