International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 37–47 | Cite as

Meteorological variables connected with airborne ragweed pollen in Southern Hungary

  • L. MakraEmail author
  • M. Juhász
  • E. Borsos
  • R. Béczi
Original Article


About 30% of the Hungarian population has some type of allergy, 65% of them have pollen sensitivity, and at least 60% of this pollen sensitivity is caused by ragweed. The short (or common) ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia = Ambrosia elatior) has the most aggressive pollen of all. Clinical investigations prove that its allergenic pollen is the main reason for the most massive, most serious and most long-lasting pollinosis. The air in the Carpathian Basin is the most polluted with ragweed pollen in Europe. The aim of the study is to analyse how ragweed pollen concentration is influenced by meteorological elements in a medium-sized city, Szeged, Southern Hungary. The data basis consists of daily ragweed pollen counts and averages of 11 meteorological parameters for the 5-year daily data set, between 1997 and 2001. The study considers some of the ragweed pollen characteristics for Szeged. Application of the Makra test indicates the same period for the highest pollen concentration as that established by the main pollination period. After performing factor analysis for the daily ragweed pollen counts and the 11 meteorological variables examined, four factors were retained that explain 84.4% of the total variance of the original 12 variables. Assessment of the daily pollen number was performed by multiple regression analysis and results based on deseasonalised and original data were compared.


Pollen allergy Ragweed pollen concentration Makra test Factor analysis Regression analysis 



The authors would like to express their gratitude to Helfried Scheifinger (Zentralanstalt fuer Meteorologie und Geodynamik, Vienna, Austria) for valuable help and advice, and to Szilvia Horváth and (Department of Climatology and Landscape Ecology, University of Szeged, Hungary), Gábor Motika (Environmental Protection Inspectorate of Lower-Tisza Region, Szeged, Hungary) and Predrag Radisic (University of Novi Sad, Laboratory of Palinology and Ecology, Novi Sad, Serbia-Montenegro) for useful hints on the topic. This study was supported by the Hungarian National Foundation for Scientific Research (OTKA no. T 034765).


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Copyright information

© ISB  2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Climatology and Landscape Ecology, University of Szeged, H-6701 Szeged, P.O.B. 653, Hungary
  2. 2.Department of Botany, University of Szeged, H-6701 Szeged, P.O.B. 657, Hungary

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