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Determination of Aspergillus Fumigatus Allergen 1 in Poultry Farms Using the Enzyme Immunoassay

Determination of Aspergillus Fumigatus Allergen 1 in Poultry Farms Using the Enzyme Immunoassay

Poultry farms contain high levels of allergenic fungi, and Aspergillus spp. is the most common genus of moulds. Aspergillus fumigatus antigens are responsible for the development of several respiratory diseases including asthma. The aim of this study was to measure the mass fraction of Asp f 1, a major allergen of Asperillus fumigatus in 37 indoor dust samples collected from four poultry farms in a rural area of the Zagreb County (Croatia) using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. More than 62 % of dust samples had detectable Asp f 1 levels (limit of detection 3.6 ng g-1). The overall mean Asp f 1 level was 17.9 ng g-1 [range (3.8 to 72.4) ng g-1]. Satisfactory results were obtained for analytical within-run imprecision (6.7 %), between-run imprecision (10.5 %), and accuracy (91 % to 115 %). Microclimate parameters (air temperature, relative humidity, and velocity) were within the recommended ranges in all poultry farms. This study has shown that Asp f 1 settles on dust at poultry farms and that occupational exposure to this allergen deserves monitoring in livestock buildings.

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Indoor Exposure to Mould Allergens

Indoor Exposure to Mould Allergens

Humid indoor environments may be colonised by allergenic filamentous microfungi (moulds), Aspergillus spp., Penicillium spp., Cladosporium spp., and Alternaria spp. in particular. Mould-induced respiratory diseases are a worldwide problem. In the last two decades, mould allergens and glucans have been used as markers of indoor exposure to moulds. Recently, mould allergens Alt a 1 (Alternaria alternata) and Asp f 1 (Aspergillus fumigatus) have been analysed in various environments (residential and occupational) with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, which use monoclonal or polyclonal antibodies. Household Alt a 1 and Asp f 1 levels were usually under the limit of the method detection. By contrast, higher levels of mould allergens were found in environments with high levels of bioaerosols such as poultry farms and sawmills. Data on allergen Alt a 1 and Asp f 1 levels in agricultural settings may provide information on possible colonisation of respective moulds and point out to mould-related diseases in occupants.

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