, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 287-290

Ragweed in the Czech Republic

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During the last years, a well documented expansion ofragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L., Ambrosia trifida L.) over the Mediterranean andtemperate Europe has been in progress. The currentdistribution of ragweed plants in the Czech Republicis summarized and the ragweed pollen concentration asmonitored by 12 pollen stations in the country isdiscussed. The present situation in the ragweed pollensensitization among children and adults with pollenallergy in Brno is described. So far no dangerousexpansion of ragweed plants in our country has beenobserved. Ragweed pollen concentration is occasionallysignificant in the Brno station only, other pollenstations are reporting insignificant amounts ofragweed pollen during August-September periods,although there has been a steady increase in ragweedpollen concentration in the Prague area over the lastfive years. Skin prick tests and/or specific IgEmeasurements with ragweed allergen were performed on94 children with pollen allergy in the Brno region in1995 and on 206, 210 and 229 adult allergic patientsin 1995, 1996 and 1997, respectively. Positive skinreaction or positive specific IgE to ragweed was foundin 22% children and in 25% (1995), 19% (1996) and 25% (1997) adults with pollen allergy. It isconcluded that ragweed does not seem to represent anyimminent major threat to the allergic population inthe Czech Republic until now, however, it remains apotentially very dangerous allergen.