In the summer forest there are allergens and irritating substances that cause respiratory or cutaneous symptoms. Birch and alder pollen allergy is common in Finland. Pollens of other trees cause sensitization only sporadically. Spores of molds and mushrooms cause allergic reactions, but the means to study spore allergy are inadequate. Even edible mushrooms may cause allergic abdominal discomforts, and trehalose intolerance is supposed to be present in a small percentage of the population. Lichen allergens may bring about IgE-mediated reactions, contact allergy and photoallergic reactions.
BACKGROUND: An inverse association between tuberculin responses and atopy has been observed in Japanese children, indicating that BCG immunisation, subclinical exposure to Mycobacterium tuberculosis without clinical disease, or host characteristics may influence the T helper (Th) lymphocyte balance with decreased atopy as a result. This study was undertaken to determine whether tuberculin reactivity is inversely related to atopy in young adults vaccinated with BCG at the age of 14. METHODS: Men and women aged 20-44 years were tested using the adrenaline-Pirquet test with Norwegian produced synthetic medium tuberculin (n = 891). In addition, their serum total and specific IgE antibodies against mite, cat, timothy grass, mould and birch were measured. RESULTS: Of the 574 subjects with complete examinations, 64% had a positive adrenaline-Pirquet tuberculin test (> or =4 mm) and 27% exhibited IgE antibodies (> or =0.35 kU/l) to one or more of the five specific allergens. The geometric mean of total serum IgE in the population was 30.2 kU/l. Tuberculin reactivity and log IgE were not correlated (r = 0.043, p = 0.30). The mean tuberculin reactivity was 4.6 mm, 4.9 mm, and 5.0 mm in the lower, middle and upper tertile of IgE distribution (61 kU/l). The prevalence of atopy, as assessed by either the presence of any of the five specific IgE antibodies or by each specific IgE antibody separately, did not differ between subjects with a positive and those with a negative tuberculin test. These results persisted after adjustment for age, sex, and smoking status in multivariate logistic regression analyses. CONCLUSIONS: In this young adult population, BCG vaccinated at the age of 14, no significant relationship between a positive tuberculin reaction and atopy was observed. If a true relationship had been found, our study suggests that it may be limited to populations immunised in early childhood when a substantial modulation of the immune system can occur.
Published data related with comparison studies of safety, efficiency and some other properties of cold-adapted live influenza vaccine (LIV) and of inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) are analyzed. LIV and IIV do not differ by systemic reactions after administration; however, it is not ruled out that there can be unfavorable reactions in vaccination of persons with allergy to the chicken-embryo proteins as well as in cases of persistence/reversion of cold-adapted strain observed in vaccination of persons with primary impairments of the immune system. There are no convincing data, up to now, on that LIV is superior to IIV in coping with influenza pandemics. The efficiency of LIV and IIV for children aged 3 years and more and for healthy adults is virtually identical. Additional controllable field comparative studies of LIV and IIV efficiency in immunization of elderly persons are needed. Limited data on LIV efficiency for children aged 2 months and more were obtained. The need in a 2-stage vaccination of all age group with the aim of ensuring responses to all 3 LIV components is, certainly, a LIV disadvantage. In case of IIV, the 2-stage vaccination is needed only for persons who were not ill with influenza. The intranasal LIV administration has, from the practical and psychological standpoints, an advantage before the IIV administration by syringe. The ability of LIV to protect from the drift influenza-virus variations could be its advantage before IIV; still, more research is needed to verify it. Transplantable cell lines meeting the WHO requirements could be an optimal substrate for the production of LIV and IIV. Children are the optimal age group for influenza prevention by cold-adapted LIV, whereas, IIV fits better for vaccination of adults and elderly persons.
T lymphocytes may play a regulatory role in the development of allergic airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR). We have studied the relationship between airway responsiveness and a number of immunological changes in Brown-Norway rats sensitized intraperitoneally and repeatedly exposed to ovalbumin (OVA) aerosol. Acetylcholine provocation concentration (PC)150 (the concentration of acetylcholine causing a 150% increase of base-line lung resistance) was measured and peripheral blood and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells were collected 18-24hr after the final exposure. Total and OVA-specific IgE in serum was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Mononuclear cells were analysed by flow cytometry after labelling with monoclonal antibodies against CD2 (pan T-cell marker), CD4, CD8 (T-cell subsets) or CD25 (interleukin-2 receptor). There were significant differences in PC150 (P
Trimellitic anhydride (TMA) is a cause of asthma in man. Dose-dependent TMA-specific IgE, histopathology, and airway responses after sensitization by inhalation were examined in the Brown Norway rat. Rats were exposed to 0.04, 0.4, 4, or 40 mg/m3 TMA aerosol for 10 min, once a week, over 10 weeks. All lower exposures were, subsequently, rechallenged to 40 mg/m3 TMA aerosol. All rats received a sham exposure 1 week prior to the first TMA exposure. Following the sham exposure and weekly after each TMA exposure, TMA-specific IgE and both early-phase airway response (EAR) and late-phase airway response (LAR) were measured using enhanced pause (Penh). All rats sensitized by 40 mg/m3 TMA developed specific IgE, EAR, and LAR to one or more of the challenges to 40 mg/m3 TMA. TMA of 4 mg/m3 induced a much lower, but stable, specific IgE response. EAR and LAR were observed only after a 40 mg/m3 TMA rechallenge in this group, but it was much larger than that observed in the 40 mg/m3 TMA-sensitized and challenged group. Exposure-dependent histopathological changes noted included eosinophilic granulomatous interstitial pneumonia, perivascular eosinophil infiltrates, bronchial-associated lymphoid tissue hyperplasia, and peribronchiolar plasma cell infiltrates.
A study was undertaken in a number of rowhouses, some of which had had previous problems related to dampness and water leakage. The aim of the study was to assess the relation between exposure to airborne (1--> 3)-beta-D-glucan, a cell-wall substance in molds, and airways inflammation. The study involved 75 houses with indoor (1--> 3)-beta-D-glucan levels ranging from 0 to 19 ng/m3. Of 170 invited tenants, 129 (76%) participated in the study. A questionnaire relating to symptoms was used, and measurements were made of lung function and airway responsiveness. Myeloperoxidase (MPO), eosinophilic cationic protein (ECP), and C-reactive protein (CRP) were measured in serum. Atopy was determined with the Phadiatop test. The major findings were a relation between exposure to (1--> 3)- beta-D-glucan and an increased prevalence of atopy, a slightly increased amount of MPO, and a decrease in FEV1 over the number of years lived in the house. The results suggests the hypothesis that exposure to (1--> 3)-beta-D-glucan or molds indoors could be associated with signs of a non-specific inflammation.
BACKGROUND: Previous studies have shown a high prevalence of atopic diseases among school children in the community of Sør-Varanger. Moreover, animal dander followed by pollen and house dust mite, were the most common allergens in skin prick tests. OBJECTIVE: To assess the allergen content in homes (living-rooms and mattresses) and classrooms of children living in an arctic area at 70 degrees. The presence of allergens in homes and schools and their relationship to atopy was of particular interest. METHODS: Dust samples from 38 homes and seven schools in northern Norway were collected by vacuum cleaning. The presence of allergens of dog, birch, timothy, Cladosporium herbarum, codfish and hen egg-white was investigated by radio-allergosorbent test (RAST) inhibition and the presence of major allergens of cat Felis domesticus (Fel d I) and house dust mites (HDM) Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (Der p I) and Dermatophagoides farinae (Der f I) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). RESULTS: Mattresses contained significantly more dust per unit area than living-rooms and classrooms. No statistically significant differences in allergen content for dog, birch, timothy. Cladosporium, codfish and hen egg-white were seen between HDM-sensitized and non-atopic children. Most dust samples contained dog allergens with the highest allergenic activity found in living-rooms of those keeping dogs. An increased level of Fel d I was detected in only one of 38 samples from living-rooms (this family kept a cat) and in 25 of 38 samples from mattresses with ranges from 24 to 84 ng/m2. The highest concentrations were found in mattresses of children keeping cats. Increased levels (> or = 25 ng/m2) of Der p I were found only in homes and virtually only in mattresses of HDM-sensitized children. An increased level of Der f I was found in only one case, i.e. in the mattress of an HDM-sensitized child where additionally Der p I and HDMs were demonstrated microscopically. When relating Der p I to HDM-sensitization an odds ratio of more than 16 (95% CI: 1.6-394.3) was found. All extracts from living-rooms included codfish allergens. Low RAST inhibition values were detected for hen egg-white. Cladosporium, birch and timothy pollen in most samples. Furthermore, the study demonstrated that dust from schools was relatively free of allergens. CONCLUSION: Previous findings indicating that the main allergen exposure problem in this geographical area is that of pet allergens were confirmed.
Allergen cross-reactions among three strongly sensitizing Euphorbiaceae species, i.e., the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis), castor bean (Ricinus communis), and the Mediterranean weed Mercurialis annua were studied in Finnish patients (n = 25) allergic to natural rubber latex (NRL), but with no known exposure to castor bean or M. annua, and French patients allergic to castor bean (n = 26) or to M. annua (n = 9), but not to NRL. In immunoglobulin E (IgE)-immunoblotting, 28% of NRL-allergic patient sera recognized castor bean seed and 48% reacted to castor bean pollen proteins. Likewise, 35% of the NRL-allergic patient sera bound to M. annua pollen allergens. Nineteen percent of castor bean-allergic patients showed IgE to NRL and 8% to M. annua proteins. Sera from patients allergic to M. annua reacted in 44% to NRL, in 56% to castor bean seed, and in 78% to castor bean pollen proteins. In immunoblotting, castor bean seed extract inhibited the binding of NRL-reactive IgE to 20 kDa, 30 kDa of NRL, and 55 kDa of proteins; NRL extract, in turn, inhibited the binding of castor bean-reactive IgE to 14, 21-22, 29, and 32-34 kDa of castor bean proteins. In ELISA inhibition, NRL extract inhibited 33% of the binding of M. annua--reactive IgE of pooled sera to M. annua pollen. In conclusion, allergen cross-reactivity in vitro was observed among three botanically related Euphorbiaceae members, H. brasiliensis, R. communis, and M. annua, but the molecular specificity of the observed cross-reactions as well as their clinical significance remains to be elucidated. Allergen cross-reactivity should be taken into account in diagnostic work.
The absence of IgE sensitization to allergen components in the presence of sensitization to the corresponding extract has been reported, but its clinical importance has not been studied.
To evaluate the clinical significance of IgE sensitization to three aeroallergen extracts and the corresponding components in relation to the development of respiratory disease.
A total of 467 adults participated in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) II and 302 in ECRHS III, 12 years later. IgE sensitization to allergen extract and components, exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and bronchial responsiveness to methacholine were measured in ECRHS II. Rhinitis and asthma symptoms were questionnaire-assessed in both ECRHS II and III.
A good overall correlation was found between IgE sensitization to extract and components for cat (r = 0.83), timothy (r = 0.96) and birch (r = 0.95). However, a substantial proportion of subjects tested IgE positive for cat and timothy allergen extracts but negative for the corresponding components (48% and 21%, respectively). Subjects sensitized to both cat extract and components had higher FeNO (P = 0.008) and more bronchial responsiveness (P = 0.002) than subjects sensitized only to the extract. Further, subjects sensitized to cat components were more likely to develop asthma (P = 0.005) and rhinitis (P = 0.007) than subjects sensitized only to cat extract.
Measurement of IgE sensitization to cat allergen components would seem to have a higher clinical value than extract-based measurement, as it related better to airway inflammation and responsiveness and had a higher prognostic value for the development of asthma and rhinitis over a 12-year period.
Major aeroallergens in Anchorage are birch, alder, poplar, spruce, grass pollen, Cladosporium, and unspecified fungus spores. Lesser pollens are sorrel, willow, pine, juniper, sedge, lamb's-quarters, wormwood, plantain, and others. The aero-flora is discussed in terms of the frequency of allergenically significant events and within-season and year-to-year dynamics.