Trend of herbaceous pollen diffusion and allergic sensitisation in Genoa, Italy
- 78 Downloads
In order to investigate the relationship betweenallergenic load and allergic sensitisation prevalenceon a long period, we analysed the annual data ofherbaceous pollen airborne diffusion in Genoa(NW-Italy) for 17 years (1981–1997), with particularregard to the most important allergenic species:Poaceae, Parietaria, Artemisia, Ambrosia. Weevaluated the relative trend and compared it with theprevalence data of patients sensitisation to thesepollens in the same period.The analysis of annual pollen amount revealed asignificant rising trend (r = 0.73, p < 0.05) of Parietaria pollen (average 14.324 grains/m3/year),whereas Poaceae (2048/year) and Artemisia(170/year) pollen count did not show any significantchange. Ambrosia (average 70/year) has been rising since 1989 (r = 0.87, p < 0.05) and reached themaximum pollen count in the last three years.
The prevalence of pollen sensitisation resulted to bevery high (about 75%) in our atopic patients withrespiratory symptoms and did not change significantlyin the years: Parietaria pollen allergy waspresent in about 70% of patients with at least oneSPT positive to pollens (and 55% of atopicsubjects), and this frequency, much higher than theone found in North Italy, showed low year-to-year variability.Among pollinotics patients, Poaceae cutaneoussensitisation was found at a quite stable rate in theabove mentioned period (about 51%), as well as thatto Artemisia pollen (8%). Ambrosia skinprick test positivity is very rare (about 0.5%),without any evident increase.
The present study shows that, for some of theherbaceous species, we cannot demonstrate astraightforward relationship between the trend ofairborne pollen and the frequency of sensitisation inexposed people. However, in the case of Parietaria, the high level of pollen amount in theair is clearly related with the high rate of cutaneous positivity in patients, but it seems tosuggest a ``plateau'' that is not modified by anyfurther increase in airborne pollen (perhaps forgenetic limiting factors). On the other hand, Ambrosia pollen count, even if increasing in Genoa'satmosphere, could still be too low, and it would takesome more time to cause allergic sensitisation in exposed people.
This kind of study, pointing out the influence ofairborne allergen exposure on hypersensitivitymechanisms, should be extended in time and world-wideto obtain general conclusions.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Bonini S., Magrini L., Rotiroti G., Ronchetti M.P. and Onorati P.: 1994, Genetic and environmental factors in the changing incidence of allergy. Allergy 49, 6-14.Google Scholar
- D'Amato G., Spieksma M., Liccardi G., Jager S., Russo M., Kontou-Fili K., Nikkels H., Wuthrich B. and Bonini S.: 1998, Pollen-related allergy in Europe. Allergy 53, 567-578.Google Scholar
- Green W.F., Toelle B. and Woolcock A.J.: 1993, House dust mite increase in Wagga Wagga houses (Letter). Aus N Z J Med 23, 409.Google Scholar
- Jäger S.: 1989, Trends in frequency of different pollen types in Vienna from 1976 to 1989. Aerobiologia 5, 9-16.Google Scholar
- Larese Filon F., Pizzulin Sauli M.L. and Rizzi Longo L.: 1998, Oleaceae in Trieste (NE Italy): Aerobiological and clinical data. Aerobiologia 14, 51-58.Google Scholar
- Rogers C.A.: 1997, An aeropalynological study of metropolitan Toronto. Aerobiologia 13, 243-257.Google Scholar
- Ruffilli A. and Bonini S.: 1997, Susceptibily genes for allergy and asthma. Allergy 52, 256-273.Google Scholar
- Troise C., Voltolini S., Delbono G. and Negrini A.C.: 1992, Allergy to pollens from Betulaceae and Corylaceae in a Mediterranean area (Genoa, Italy). A ten-year retrospective study. J Invest Allergol Clin Immuno 2(6), 313-317.Google Scholar
- Voltolini S., Minale P., Troise C., Altomonte F., Arobba D. and Negrini A.C.: 1994a: Asma a carattere epidemico da sensibilizzazione a pollini di alberi a Genova. Abstracts VI_ Congr. Naz. Associaz It Aerobiologia, Perugia 1994.Google Scholar
- Voltolini S., Minale P., Troise C., Arobba D. and Negrini A.C.: 1994b, Andamento della diffusione pollinica di alcune specie arboree a Genova in rapporto alla situazione ambientale. Abstracts VI Congr. Naz. Associaz.It. Aerobiologia, Perugia 1994.Google Scholar
- Wickman M., Nordvall S.L., Pershagen G., Sundell J. and Schwartz B.: 1991, House dust mite sensitisation in children and residential characteristics in a temperate region. J Allergy Clin Immunol 88, 89-95.Google Scholar
- Woolcock A.J., Peat J.K. and Trevillion L.M.: 1995, Is the increase in asthma prevalence linked to increase in allergen load? Allergy 50, 935-940.Google Scholar