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.
Ljerka Prester, Jelena Macan, Kristina Matković and Marija Vučemilo
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.
Nikolay K. Balgaranov, Lachezar S. Nikolov, Nadia I. Kolarova-Yaneva, Vania N. Nedkova, Kristina Ts. Tabakova and Viktor E. Donev
Asthma and allergic rhinitis are common in childhood. Establishing sensitization to aeroallergens is crucial to effectively prevent exacerbation of these respiratory allergic diseases. The study aimed to evaluate sensitization to the most common aeroallergens in children with asthma and allergic rhinitis.We establishedacorrelation between patients sensitized to indoor, outdoor and simultaneously to both allergens. The study population consisted of 276 patients (168 boys and 108 girls) ages 4 to 16 years with asthma (A) and allergic rhinitis (AR). Skin prick tests were performed with 21 commercial allergen extracts: pollens, mites, epithelia and insects, and molds. We found that 217 patients were sensitized to at least one aeroallergen: 117 patients hadapositive result to mites, 92 to pollens, 72 to epithelia and insects, and 63 - to mold allergens. Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus was the most prevalent aeroallergen. Sensitized only to indoor allergens were 104 patients, 60 - only to outdoor allergens, and 53 were sensitized to both. Mites were the most frequent aeroallergens in children with Aand AR. Lately there has been foundasignificant increase in rates of sensitization to mold allergens, especially to Alternaria alternata. Our study has confirmed the dominant role of indoor allergens in children with respiratory allergic diseases.