Adolescents exposed to antibiotic use and mold exposure during infancy had an increased risk for developing allergic rhinitis, according to recent study results.

Researchers recruited 7,389 students (mean age, 13.9 years; 55.9% female) in Seoul, South Korea, with parents or guardians completing the International Study of Asthma and Allergies Childhood questionnaire. Random blood sampling for genotyping for interleukin 13 (IL-13; rs20541) and Toll-like receptor 4 (rs1927911) polymorphisms was performed in 1,395 students.

An increased risk for current allergic rhinitis (AR; diagnosis and symptoms within the preceding 12 months) was associated with age, parental history of AR, antibiotic use in infancy and pet ownership during pregnancy or infancy.

“Antibiotic use and mold exposure in infancy had additive effects on current AR in adolescents,” the researchers reported. “A possible gene-environment interaction between antibiotic use and mold exposure and the IL-13 (rs20541) polymorphism was also identified.