Research description

The development of allergies among children and adolescents. Since the late 1980s we have investigated the prevalence and time trends of allergic diseases in childhood, the natural course allergic diseases in childhood and risk factors of allergic diseases. The research has been clinically oriented with a focus on possibilities for implementation of preventive measures in the population.

The research originates from a birth cohort started in 1994, which includes more than 4000 children of Stockholm. The study was given the name BAMSE which is also a name for a Swedish cartoon figure loved by children. BAMSE is the abbreviation for Children/Barn, Allergy, Milieu, Stockholm, an Epidemiological survey. Repeated follow ups have been performed including investigations and objective measurements. So far the response rate has been excellent; 82% at the last 12 years of age follow up.

Investigated areas so far include allergic heredity incl. genetic markers, early infections, early feeding and various aspects of air pollution. The importance of early exposure to inhalant allergens has been investigated as well as gender and socio-economy in relation to development of allergic diseasesl.

Allergic sensitisation and food allergies. Another important area is has been to investigate the role of allergic sensitisation in relation to expression of allergic disease, with a specific focus on food allergens, particularly peanut and tree nut allergens. Partially this has been in collaboration with Sachs Children´s Hospital, Stockholm.

Collaboration is established with researchers within Centre for Allergy Research, KI; Stockholm University and researchers in Oslo, Helsinki, London, Berlin and Munich. Our research group is involved in 3 major EU-funded projects (GA2LEN, GABRIEL, ENRIECO). The research group contains amongst others physicians, nurses, BMA, database manager and statistician.


  • Swedish Research Council
  • Stockholm County Council
  • The Vårdal Foundation
  • Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation
  • Astma och allergiförbundet


Five selected publications

Kull I, Lilja G, Almqvist C, Pershagen G, Wickman M. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of asthma during the first four years of life. JACI 2004, 114;755-760.

Melen E, Bruce S, Doekes G, Kabesch M, Laitinen T, Lauener R, Lindgren CM, Riedler J, Scheynius A, van Hage-Hamsten M, Kere J, Pershagen G, Wickman M, Nyberg F. Haplotypes of G-protein-coupled Receptor 154 are Associated with Childhood Allergy and Asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2005;171:1089-1095

Lannerö E, Wickman M, van Hage M, Bergström A, Pershagen G, Nordvall L. Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and sensitisation in children. Thorax. 2008;63:172-6

Nordling E, Berglind N, Melén E, Emenius G, Hallberg J, Nyberg F, Pershagen G, Svartengren M, Wickman M, Bellander T.  Traffic-related air pollution and childhood respiratory symptoms, function and allergies. Epidemiology. 2008;19:401-8.

Melén E, Nyberg F, Lindgren CM, Berglind N, Zucchelli M, Nordling E, Hallberg J, Svartengren M, Morgenstern R, Kere J, Bellander T, Wickman M, Pershagen G. Interactions between glutathione S-transferase P1, tumor necrosis factor, and traffic-related air pollution for development of childhood allergic disease. Environ Health Perspect 2008;116:1077-84.