PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-25 (20840)

Clipboard (0)
None

Related Articles

1.  Changes in Allergy Symptoms and Depression Scores Are Positively Correlated In Patients With Recurrent Mood Disorders Exposed to Seasonal Peaks in Aeroallergens 
TheScientificWorldJournal  2007;7:1968-1977.
Although growing evidence supports an association between allergy, allergens and depression, it remains unknown if this relationship is between “states” (possible triggers) or “traits” (possible vulnerabilities). We hypothesized that patients with recurrent mood disorders who are sensitized to tree pollen (as determined by allergen specific IgE antibodies), in comparison to those who are not sensitized, would report larger negative changes in mood during exposure to tree pollen in spring. We also hypothesized that differences between high and low tree pollen periods in self reported allergy symptoms would correlate positively with differences in self reported depression scores. We present 1-year preliminary data on the first 51 patients with unipolar or bipolar disorder (age: 19-63 years, 65% female, twelve patients were tree-pollen IgE positive). Ratings of mood and allergic disease status were performed once during the peak airborne pollen counts and once during the period of low airborne pollen counts, as reported by two local pollen counting stations. Linear regression models were developed to examine associations of changes in depression scores (dependent variable) with tree pollen sensitization, changes in the allergy symptom severity score, adjusted for gender and order of testing. We did not confirm the hypothesized relationship between a specific tree pollen sensitization and changes in mood during tree pollen exposure. We did confirm the hypothesized positive relationship between the changes in allergy symptoms and changes in subjects' depression scores (adjusted p<0.05). This result is consistent with previous epidemiological evidence connecting allergy with depression, as well as our recent reports of increased expression of cytokines in the prefrontal cortex in victims of suicide and in experimental animals sensitized and exposed to tree pollen. A relationship between changes in allergy symptom scores and changes in depression scores supports a state-level rather than only trait-level relationship, and thus lends optimism to future causality-testing interventional studies, which might then lead to novel preventative environmental interventions in mood disorders.
doi:10.1100/tsw.2007.286
PMCID: PMC2196438  PMID: 18167612
allergy; aeroallergen; tree pollen; allergen specific IgE; major depression; bipolar disorder
2.  Impact of meteorological variation on hospital visits of patients with tree pollen allergy 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:890.
Background
Climate change could affect allergic diseases, especially due to pollen. However, there has been no epidemiologic study to demonstrate the relationship between meteorological factors, pollen, and allergic patients. We aimed to investigate the association between meteorological variations and hospital visits of patients with tree pollen allergy.
Methods
The study subjects were adult patients who received skin prick tests between April and July from 1999 to 2008. We reviewed the medical records for the test results of 4,715 patients. Patients with tree pollen allergy were defined as those sensitized to more than 1 of 12 tree pollen allergens. We used monthly means of airborne tree pollen counts and meteorological factors: maximum/average/minimum temperature, relative humidity, and precipitation. We analyzed the correlations between meteorological variations, tree pollen counts, and the patient numbers. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to investigate the associations between meteorological factors and hospital visits of patients.
Results
The minimum temperature in March was significantly and positively correlated with tree pollen counts in March/April and patient numbers from April through July. Pollen counts in March/April were also correlated with patient numbers from April through July. After adjusting for confounders, including air pollutants, there was a positive association between the minimum temperature in March and hospital visits of patients with tree pollen allergy from April to July(odds ratio, 1.14; 95% CI 1.03 to 1.25).
Conclusions
Higher temperatures could increase tree pollen counts, affecting the symptoms of patients with tree pollen allergy, thereby increasing the number of patients visiting hospitals.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-11-890
PMCID: PMC3315442  PMID: 22115497
3.  Relationship between Pollen Counts and Weather Variables in East-Mediterranean Coast of Turkey 
Background: Aeroallergen sampling provides information regarding the onset, duration and severity of the pollen season that clinicians use to guide allergen selection for skin testing and treatment.
Objectives: This atmospheric survey reports (1) airborne pollen contributions in Adana in one-year period (2) pollen onset, duration and peak level (3) the relationship between airborne pollen and selected meteorological variables and; (4) effects on symptoms in pollen allergic children.
Methods: Pollen sampling was performed with a volumetric Burkard Spore Trap. Meteorological data were measured daily from April 2001 to April 2002. Asthma symptom scores were investigated in 186 pollen allergic children that were on follow up in pediatric allergy outpatient clinics during same period.
Results: Average measurements included 82.5% tree pollen, 7.7% grass pollen and 9.8% herb pollen 54 taxa were identified during one year. The most prominent tree pollens were Cupressaceae, Eucalyptus and Pinus. The most common herb was Chenopodiaceae pollen family. When airborne pollen levels were examined in relation to single meteorological conditions; daily variations in total pollen counts were not significantly correlated with any variable studied (humidity, rainfall, temperature and wind) (p>0.05). On the other hand, statistically significant relationship between pollen concentration and symptom scores were found (p>0.05). Positive correlations were seen between both Gramineae and Herb pollen, and humidity and rainfall from March to July. However, positive correlations were detected between tree pollen counts and temperature and humidity in May and June.
Conclusion: This survey is the first volumetric airborne pollen analysis conducted in the survey area in Adana. This study suggested that the effects of weather on pollen count and symptom scores in this population could not be clearly identified with the evaluation of one-year data. However, pollen counts had effect on allergic symptoms in pollen allergic children. Examination of the complex interaction of multiple whether parameters would perhaps more fully elucidate the relationship between meteorology and aerobiology and provide the clinician with information necessary to forecast pollen prevalence. An awareness of the ever chancing, local aeroallergen patterns requires regular monitoring. Such awareness serves as a useful guide in the effective testing and treatment of atopic patients.
doi:10.1080/10446670410001670544
PMCID: PMC2275411  PMID: 15154617
4.  The Association of Tree Pollen Concentration Peaks and Allergy Medication Sales in New York City: 2003–2008 
ISRN Allergy  2011;2011:537194.
The impact of pollen exposure on population allergic illness is poorly characterized. We explore the association of tree pollen and over-the-counter daily allergy medication sales in the New York City metropolitan area. Dates of peak tree pollen (maple, oak, and birch) concentrations were identified from 2003 to 2008. Daily allergy medication sales reported to the city health department were analyzed as a function of the same-day and lagged tree pollen peak indicators, adjusting for season, year, temperature, and day of week. Significant associations were found between tree pollen peaks and allergy medication sales, with the strongest association at 2-day lag (excess sales of 28.7% (95% CI: 17.4–41.2) over the average sales during the study period). The cumulative effect over the 7-day period on and after the tree pollen peak dates was estimated to be 141.1% (95% CI: 79.4–224.1). In conclusion, tree pollen concentration peaks were followed by large increases in over-the-counter allergy medication sales.
doi:10.5402/2011/537194
PMCID: PMC3658798  PMID: 23724230
5.  Changes in Severity of Allergy and Anxiety Symptoms Are Positively Correlated in Patients with Recurrent Mood Disorders Who Are Exposed to Seasonal Peaks of Aeroallergens 
Considering clinical and animal evidence suggesting a relationship between allergy and anxiety, we hypothesized that, from low to high aeroallergen exposure, changes in anxiety symptom scores in patients with primary mood disorders will correlate with changes in allergy symptom scores. We also anticipated that sensitization to tree pollen, as determined by allergen specific IgE antibodies, will predict a greater worsening of anxiety during exposure to tree pollen. 51 patients with unipolar or bipolar disorder (age: 19-63 years, 65% female) were recruited. Tree- pollen IgE positive subjects (12) were included as the experimental group and patients negative to a multi-allergen serological test (39) were included in the control group. Self reports of anxiety and allergy symptoms were obtained once during the peak airborne pollen counts and once during the period of low airborne pollen counts, as reported by two local pollen counting stations. Using linear regression models, we confirmed a significant positive association between allergy scores and anxiety scores (p<0.04); however, the IgE specific tree pollen positivity was not significantly associated with changes in anxiety scores. Because changes in anxiety scores relate to changes in depression scores, the relationship between allergy and anxiety involves states rather than only traits, and as such, our results lead to future efforts to uncover potential anxiety triggering, exacerbating or perpetuating role of allergens in vulnerable individuals.
PMCID: PMC2678838  PMID: 19430577
anxiety; depression; allergen; allergy; rhinitis; atopy; allergen specific IgE; tree pollen
6.  Allergen sensitization linked to climate and age, not to intermittent-persistent rhinitis in a cross-sectional cohort study in the (sub)tropics 
Background
Allergen exposure leads to allergen sensitization in susceptible individuals and this might influence allergic rhinitis (AR) phenotype expression. We investigated whether sensitization patterns vary in a country with subtropical and tropical regions and if sensitization patterns relate to AR phenotypes or age.
Methods
In a national, cross-sectional study AR patients (2-70 y) seen by allergists underwent blinded skin prick testing with a panel of 18 allergens and completed a validated questionnaire on AR phenotypes.
Results
628 patients were recruited. The major sensitizing allergen was house dust mite (HDM) (56%), followed by Bermuda grass (26%), ash (24%), oak (23%) and mesquite (21%) pollen, cat (22%) and cockroach (21%). Patients living in the tropical region were almost exclusively sensitized to HDM (87%). In the central agricultural zones sensitization is primarily to grass and tree pollen. Nationwide, most study subjects had perennial (82.2%), intermittent (56.5%) and moderate-severe (84.7%) AR. Sensitization was not related to the intermittent-persistent AR classification or to AR severity; seasonal AR was associated with tree (p < 0.05) and grass pollen sensitization (p < 0.01). HDM sensitization was more frequent in children (0-11 y) and adolescents (12-17 y) (subtropical region: p < 0.0005; tropical region p < 0.05), but pollen sensitization becomes more important in the adult patients visiting allergists (Adults vs children + adolescents for tree pollen: p < 0.0001, weeds: p < 0.0005).
Conclusions
In a country with (sub)tropical climate zones SPT sensitization patterns varied according to climatological zones; they were different from those found in Europe, HDM sensitization far outweighing pollen allergies and Bermuda grass and Ash pollen being the main grass and tree allergens, respectively. Pollen sensitization was related to SAR, but no relation between sensitization and intermittent-persistent AR or AR severity could be detected. Sensitization patterns vary with age (child HDM, adult pollen). Clinical implications of our findings are dual: only a few allergens –some region specific- cover the majority of sensitizations in (sub)tropical climate zones. This is of major importance for allergen manufacturers and immunotherapy planning. Secondly, patient selection in clinical trials should be based on the intermittent-persistent and severity classifications, rather than on the seasonal-perennial AR subtypes, especially when conducted in (sub)tropical countries.
doi:10.1186/2045-7022-4-20
PMCID: PMC4073512  PMID: 24976949
House dust mite; Pollen; Skin prick test; Allergic sensitization; Allergic rhinitis; Intermittent rhinitis; Persistent rhinitis; Seasonal; Perennial
7.  The human allergens of mesquite (Prosopis juliflora) 
Background
A computerized statistical analysis of allergy skin test results correlating patient reactivities initiated our interest in the cross-reactive allergens of mesquite tree pollen. In-vitro testing with mesquite-sensitized rabbits and a variety of deciduous tree pollens revealed so many cross-reactivities that it became apparent there could be more allergens in mesquite than previously described in the world literature. Our purpose was to examine the allergens of mesquite tree pollen (Prosopis juliflora) which elicit an IgE response in allergic humans so that future research could determine if these human allergens cross-react with various tree pollens in the same manner as did the mesquite antiserum from sensitized rabbits.
Methods
Proteins from commercial mesquite tree pollen were separated by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in the presence of sodium-dodecyl-sulphate. These mesquite proteins were subjected to Western blotting using pooled sera from ten mesquite-sensitive patients and goat anti-human IgE. The allergens were detected using an Amplified Opti-4-CN kit, scanned, and then interpreted by Gel-Pro software.
Results
Thirteen human allergens of mesquite pollen were detected in this study.
Conclusion
The number of allergens in this study of mesquite exceeded the number identified previously in the literature. With the increased exposure to mesquite through its use in "greening the desert", increased travel to desert areas and exposure to mesquite in cooking smoke, the possible clinical significance of these allergens and their suggested cross-reactivity with other tree pollens merit further study.
doi:10.1186/1476-7961-2-8
PMCID: PMC471561  PMID: 15236658
8.  Urban Tree Canopy and Asthma, Wheeze, Rhinitis, and Allergic Sensitization to Tree Pollen in a New York City Birth Cohort 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2013;121(4):494-500.
Background: Urban landscape elements, particularly trees, have the potential to affect airflow, air quality, and production of aeroallergens. Several large-scale urban tree planting projects have sought to promote respiratory health, yet evidence linking tree cover to human health is limited.
Objectives: We sought to investigate the association of tree canopy cover with subsequent development of childhood asthma, wheeze, rhinitis, and allergic sensitization.
Methods: Birth cohort study data were linked to detailed geographic information systems data characterizing 2001 tree canopy coverage based on LiDAR (light detection and ranging) and multispectral imagery within 0.25 km of the prenatal address. A total of 549 Dominican or African-American children born in 1998–2006 had outcome data assessed by validated questionnaire or based on IgE antibody response to specific allergens, including a tree pollen mix.
Results: Tree canopy coverage did not significantly predict outcomes at 5 years of age, but was positively associated with asthma and allergic sensitization at 7 years. Adjusted risk ratios (RRs) per standard deviation of tree canopy coverage were 1.17 for asthma (95% CI: 1.02, 1.33), 1.20 for any specific allergic sensitization (95% CI: 1.05, 1.37), and 1.43 for tree pollen allergic sensitization (95% CI: 1.19, 1.72).
Conclusions: Results did not support the hypothesized protective association of urban tree canopy coverage with asthma or allergy-related outcomes. Tree canopy cover near the prenatal address was associated with higher prevalence of allergic sensitization to tree pollen. Information was not available on sensitization to specific tree species or individual pollen exposures, and results may not be generalizable to other populations or geographic areas.
doi:10.1289/ehp.1205513
PMCID: PMC3620770  PMID: 23322788
aeroallergen; allergic sensitivity; asthma; built environment; childhood disease; environmental agents; epidemiology; pollen; urban life
9.  227 Changing Scenario of Airborne Allergens in Bangalore, India 
With phenomenal growth of Bangalore city and a distinct shift of its arboriculture in the last 2 decades, change in allergen profile has been suspected. Earlier studies reported the pollen of Partheenium, Albizia, Cassia, Ageratum and Ricinus, and dust mites D.pteronyssinus and D.farinae to be the commonest airborne allergens (Anand P and Agashe SN, Ind Journal Otolaryngol, Vol 36, no 2, 1984 and Channabasavanna GP, Final Report: Research Project H Dust Mites, DST, Gov Ind June 1983).
Present study involved skin prick tests done on 134 patients of respiratory allergy with standard protocol. 82 male and 52 female patients with moderate–severe persistent allergic rhinitis, rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma were the study subjects with mean age of 30.2 ± 13.8 years. 30 were asthmatics and 64 were asthmatics with rhinitis.
Cynodon dactylon (22.4%) and Pennisetum typhoides (5.9%) are the commonest grass pollen allergens. Artemesia scoparia (15.7%), Partheenium hysterophorus (8.9%), Ageratum conyzoides (8.2%) and Helianthus annuus (8.2%) are the commonest weed pollen allergens. Prosopis juliflora (14.2%), Cassia siamea (10.4%) and Ricinus communis (8.9%) are the commonest tree pollen allergens. D.pteronyssinus (58.9%) and D.farinae (47%) are the commonest indoor allergens.
House dust mites have remained the predominant indoor allergens even now. Present study shows significant change in the type of pollen allergens. Cynodon, Artemesia and Prosopis have replaced Partheenium and Albizia as the predominant allergens in 2 decades. Helianthus annuus and Pennisetum typhoides, which were insignificant in the past, have emerged as significant allergens. Molds as airborne allergens have become very insignificant.
Bangalore has grown enormously in the last 2 decades. Innumerable vacant lands and swampy areas covered by weeds like Partheenium, have become buildings. Helianthus is cultivated on a large scale all around as a commercial crop. Large outskirts around the city have become residential and, office and commercial hubs resulting in a considerable change in pollen allergen flora. This change in the pollen allergen profile is an important guideline for allergy diagnosis and immunotherapy. This evidence may have significant application to the management of allergy patients in other major cities of India like Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata as well.
doi:10.1097/01.WOX.0000411984.10675.23
PMCID: PMC3513131
10.  The role of oak pollen in hay fever consultations in general practice and the factors influencing patients' decisions to consult. 
BACKGROUND: Patients often consult for hay fever before significant counts of grass pollen are recorded, and this has prompted the question, 'Are symptoms already present or are patients consulting to obtain medication in anticipation?' AIM: The study is concerned with the relationship between hay fever symptoms and pollens, and also with the impact of the media on patient consulting behaviour. METHOD: Symptom questionnaires were presented to patients consulting with hay fever for the first time that year in 1994 in four Birmingham practices. The questionnaire concerned the nature and duration of symptoms and the influence of the media on their decision to consult. Incidence data collected over the spring and summer periods (1989-1995) in the Weekly Returns Service (WRS) were examined in relation to pollen counts reported by the Midlands Asthma and Allergy Research Association at Derby. Data are presented for oak, birch and grass pollen, but other pollen data including rape, nettle and other trees were also examined. RESULTS: Questionnaire data from 1994 were analysed in two periods starting from 4 April: early (day 1-60) and late (day 61-124). Out of the 364 subjects, 38% consulted in the early period and 62% in the late period. Altogether, 41% developed symptoms before the start of the grass pollen season. Overall, 91% of patients first consulting in the early period had already experienced symptoms compared with 99% late period and were not simply collecting prescriptions in anticipation. The influence of the media on consultation behaviour was very small, except in children, 23% of whom (or their parents) were reported to be influenced. The new episode data from the WRS examined over 7 years showed an early peak that was coterminous with oak pollen, and a later and higher peak with grass pollen. CONCLUSION: The consistency of the relationship between oak pollen and the early peak of hay fever over the years examined suggests that oak pollen is a major cause of hay fever symptoms.
PMCID: PMC1239713  PMID: 8949322
11.  Profilins constitute a novel family of functional plant pan-allergens 
Type I allergy is a major health problem in industrialized countries where up to 15% of the population suffer from allergic symptoms (rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and asthma). Previously, we identified a cDNA clone that encoded a birch pollen allergen as profilin. Profilins constitute a ubiquitous family of proteins that control actin polymerization in eukaryotic cells; in particular, profilin participates in the acrosomal reaction of animal sperm cells. Although profilins had been unknown in plants so far, our finding led to the assumption that profilins might have similar functions in pollens during plant fertilization and therefore represent allergenic components in almost all pollens. We show that profilins are prominent allergens that can be isolated from tree pollens (Betula verrucosa, birch), from pollens of grasses (Phleum pratense, timothy grass), and weeds (Artemisia vulgaris, mugwort). About 20% of all pollen allergic patients tested (n = 65) displayed immunoglobulin E (IgE) reactivity to recombinant birch profilin that was expressed in pKK223-3. An IgE inhibition experiment performed with recombinant birch profilin and purified natural profilins from timothy grass and mugwort indicates common IgE epitopes. Moreover, all pollen profilins purified from these far distantly related plant species, and likewise the purified recombinant birch profilin, are able to elicit dose-dependent histamine release via high affinity Fc epsilon receptor of blood basophils from profilin allergic patients. The presence of profilin and possibly related proteins as crossreacting allergenic components in various plants therefore provides an explanation as to why certain allergic patients display type I allergic reactions with pollens and even food from distantly related plants. A functional pan-allergen, like profilin, available as purified recombinant protein, may be a useful diagnostic and probably therapeutic reagent.
PMCID: PMC2119109  PMID: 1370681
12.  Christmas Tree Allergy: Mould and Pollen Studies 
Canadian Medical Association Journal  1970;103(12):1272-1276.
A history of respiratory or other allergic symptoms during the Christmas season is occasionally obtained from allergic patients and can be related to exposure to conifers at home or in school. Incidence and mechanism of production of these symptoms were studied. Of 1657 allergic patients, respiratory and skin allergies to conifers occurred in 7%. This seasonal syndrome includes sneezing, wheezing and transitory skin rashes. The majority of patients develop their disease within 24 hours, but 15% experience symptoms after several days' delay. Mould and pollen studies were carried out in 10 test sites before, during and after tree placement in the home. Scrapings from pine and spruce bark yielded large numbers of Penicillium, Epicoccum and Alternaria, but these failed to become airborne. No significant alteration was discovered in the airborne fungi in houses when trees were present. Pollen studies showed release into air of weed, grass and tree pollens while Christmas trees were in the house. Oleoresins of the tree balsam are thought to be the most likely cause of the symptoms designated as Christmas tree allergy.
PMCID: PMC1930673  PMID: 5485790
13.  Acute Stress Promotes Aggressive-Like Behavior in Rats Made Allergic to Tree Pollen 
It has been reported that allergies are associated with depression and possibly suicide in women. Aggression is an important behavioral component that predisposes depressed individuals to suicidal acts. In the present study we examined the relationship between allergies and aggression to determine a potential contribution of allergies in factors of risk for suicidal behavior. Because stress plays a critical role in the manifestation of clinical symptoms of allergies and also in suicidal behavior, we also studied the role of acute stress. Female inbred Brown Norway rats known for their susceptibility to respiratory allergies were sensitized and challenged with a mixture of tree pollen and evaluated in the resident-intruder test for detection of aggressive behaviors. They were also subjected to acute stress by sessions of inescapable forced swimming and re-evaluated in the resident intruder test. Animals made allergic to tree pollen and subjected to acute stress displayed increased aggressive-like behavior as compared with control-saline treated animals or to their own aggressive scores previous to the stress session. These results suggest that allergies and stress increases aggressive-like behavior, indicating that these conditions may be important factors promoting altered emotional reactivity with the potential to influence suicidal behavior.
PMCID: PMC2900930  PMID: 20622938
neuroimmune; intranasal; Brown Norway; inbred; female; resident-intruder
14.  Factors affecting quantity of pollen dispersal of spray cut chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium) 
BMC Plant Biology  2014;14:5.
Background
Spray cut chrysanthemum is a vital flower with high ornamental value and popularity in the world. However, the excessive quantity of pollen dispersal of most spray cut chrysanthemum is an adverse factor during its flowering stage, and can significantly reduce its ornamental value and quickly shorten its vase life. More seriously, excessive pollen grains in the air are usually harmful to people, especially for those with pollen allergies. Therefore, in order to obtain some valuable information for developing spray cut chrysanthemum with less-dispersed or non-dispersed pollen in the future breeding programs, we here investigated the factors affecting quantity of pollen dispersal of spray cut chrysanthemum with four cultivars, i.e. ‘Qx-097’, ‘Noa’, ‘Qx-115’, and ‘Kingfisher’, that have different quantity of pollen dispersal.
Results
‘Qx-097’ with high quantity of pollen dispersal has 819 pollen grains per anther, 196.4 disk florets per inflorescence and over 800,000 pollen grains per inflorescence. The corresponding data for ‘Noa’ with low quantity of pollen dispersal are 406, 175.4 and over 350,000, respectively; and 219, 144.2 and nearly 160,000 for ‘Qx-115’ without pollen dispersal, respectively. ‘Kingfisher’ without pollen dispersal has 202.8 disk florets per inflorescence, but its anther has no pollen grains. In addition, ‘Qx-097’ has a very high degree of anther cracking that nearly causes a complete dispersal of pollen grains from its anthers. ‘Noa’ has a moderate degree of anther cracking, and pollen grains in its anthers are not completely dispersed. However, the anthers of ‘Qx-115’ and ‘Kingfisher’ do not crack at all. Furthermore, microsporogenesis and pollen development are normal in ‘Qx-097’, whereas many microspores or pollen degenerate in ‘Noa’, most of them abort in ‘Qx-115’, and all of them degrade in ‘Kingfisher’.
Conclusions
These results suggest that quantity of pollen dispersal in spray cut chrysanthemum are mainly determined by pollen quantity per anther, and capacity of pollen dispersal. Abnormality during microsporogenesis and pollen development significantly affects pollen quantity per anther. Capacity of pollen dispersal is closely related to the degree of anther dehiscence. The entire degeneration of microspore or pollen, or the complete failure of anther dehiscence can cause the complete failure of pollen dispersal.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-14-5
PMCID: PMC3890635  PMID: 24393236
15.  Development of a regional-scale pollen emission and transport modeling framework for investigating the impact of climate change on allergic airway disease 
Biogeosciences (Online)  2013;10(3):3977-4023.
Exposure to bioaerosol allergens such as pollen can cause exacerbations of allergenic airway disease (AAD) in sensitive populations, and thus cause serious public health problems. Assessing these health impacts by linking the airborne pollen levels, concentrations of respirable allergenic material, and human allergenic response under current and future climate conditions is a key step toward developing preventive and adaptive actions. To that end, a regional-scale pollen emission and transport modeling framework was developed that treats allergenic pollens as non-reactive tracers within the WRF/CMAQ air-quality modeling system. The Simulator of the Timing and Magnitude of Pollen Season (STaMPS) model was used to generate a daily pollen pool that can then be emitted into the atmosphere by wind. The STaMPS is driven by species-specific meteorological (temperature and/or precipitation) threshold conditions and is designed to be flexible with respect to its representation of vegetation species and plant functional types (PFTs). The hourly pollen emission flux was parameterized by considering the pollen pool, friction velocity, and wind threshold values. The dry deposition velocity of each species of pollen was estimated based on pollen grain size and density. An evaluation of the pollen modeling framework was conducted for southern California for the period from March to June 2010. This period coincided with observations by the University of Southern California's Children's Health Study (CHS), which included O3, PM2.5, and pollen count, as well as measurements of exhaled nitric oxide in study participants. Two nesting domains with horizontal resolutions of 12 km and 4 km were constructed, and six representative allergenic pollen genera were included: birch tree, walnut tree, mulberry tree, olive tree, oak tree, and brome grasses. Under the current parameterization scheme, the modeling framework tends to underestimate walnut and peak oak pollen concentrations, and tends to overestimate grass pollen concentrations. The model shows reasonable agreement with observed birch, olive, and mulberry tree pollen concentrations. Sensitivity studies suggest that the estimation of the pollen pool is a major source of uncertainty for simulated pollen concentrations. Achieving agreement between emission modeling and observed pattern of pollen releases is the key for successful pollen concentration simulations.
doi:10.5194/bgd-10-3977-2013
PMCID: PMC4021721  PMID: 24839448
16.  Pollen-specific immunoglobulin E positivity is associated with worsening of depression scores in bipolar disorder patients during high pollen season 
Bipolar Disorders  2012;14(1):90-98.
Objective
An association between allergic disease and depression has been consistently reported, but whether the key mediating ingredients are predominantly biological, psychological, or mere artifacts remains unknown. In the current study, we examine the hypothesized relationship between allergen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) status and changes in allergy symptoms with worsening in depression scores in depressed sensitized individuals.
Methods
In patients with recurrent mood disorders, we individually coupled sensitization to specific seasonal aeroallergens (as assessed by allergen-specific IgE) with temporal windows of exposure to aeroallergens (low versus high tree or ragweed pollen counts measured according to the National Allergy Bureau guidelines). We compared Structured Interview Guide for the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale–Seasonal Affective Disorder Version (SIGH-SAD) depression score changes in 41 patients with mood disorders [25 with major depression and 16 with bipolar I disorder, diagnosed by Structured Clinical Interview for DSM (SCID)] seropositive for tree or ragweed pollen-specific IgE antibody versus 53 patients with mood disorders (30 with major depression and 23 with bipolar I disorder) seronegative for aeroallergen-specific IgE.
Results
Worsening in total depressive scores from low to high pollen exposure was greater in allergen-specific IgE positive patients as compared to allergen-specific IgE antibody negative patients (p = 0.01). When stratified by polarity, the association was significant only in patients with bipolar I disorder (p = 0.004). This relationship was resilient to adjustment for changes in allergy symptom scores.
Conclusion
To our knowledge, this is the first report of coupling a molecular marker of vulnerability (allergen-specific IgE) with a specific an environmental trigger (airborne allergens) leading to exacerbation of depression in patients with bipolar I disorder.
doi:10.1111/j.1399-5618.2012.00983.x
PMCID: PMC3293700  PMID: 22329476
allergen; allergen-specific IgE antibody; allergy; bipolar disorder; depression; ragweed pollen; tree pollen
17.  Safety and Efficacy of Tree Pollen Specific Immunotherapy on the Ultrarush Administration Schedule Method Using Purethal Trees 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:707634.
Background. Specific immunotherapy (SIT) with an ultrarush administration schedule with Purethal for tree pollen allergens has been evaluated to assess its efficacy and safety. Methods. The study group consisted of 22 patients with symptoms of allergic rhinitis and confirmed allergy to tree pollens. Patients were randomized and given an administration schedule of either ultrarush therapy or conventional preseasonal SIT. Treatment was performed during three consecutive years. Results. After three years of treatment, a similar reduction in nasal symptoms was observed; according to the visual analog scale, there was a decrease from 3.991 ± 0.804 points to 1.634 ± 0.540 in the ultrarush group and from 3.845 ± 0.265 to 1.501 ± 0.418 in the group desensitized using the conventional method (P > 0.05). There was also a comparable reduction in the use of relief drugs during pollen season and an increase in the serum concentration of IgG4 to tree pollens. No significant differences in the safety profile were observed. Conclusion. An administration schedule of ultrarush SIT with Purethal Trees is a safe treatment in preliminary observations. This therapy is comparable with conventional administration of SIT in the field of efficacy and safety.
doi:10.1155/2014/707634
PMCID: PMC3982251  PMID: 24783221
18.  Referrals to a regional allergy clinic - an eleven year audit 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:790.
Background
Allergy is a serious and apparently increasing public health problem yet relatively little is known about the types of allergy seen in routine tertiary practice, including their spatial distribution, co-occurrence or referral patterns. This study reviewed referrals over an eleven year period to a regional allergy clinic that had a well defined geographical boundary. For those patients confirmed as having an allergy we explored: (i) differences over time and by demographics, (ii) types of allergy, (iii) co-occurrence, and (iv) spatial distributions.
Methods
Data were extracted from consultant letters to GPs, from September 1998 to September 2009, for patients confirmed as having an allergy. Other data included referral statistics and population data by postcode. Simple descriptive analysis was used to describe types of allergy. We calculated 11 year standardised morbidity ratios for postcode districts and checked for spatial clustering. We present maps showing 11 year rates by postcode, and 'difference' maps which try to separate referral effect from possible environmental effect.
Results
Of 5778 referrals, 961 patients were diagnosed with an allergy. These were referred by a total of 672 different GPs. There were marked differences in referral patterns between GP practices and also individual GPs. The mean age of patients was 35 and there were considerably more females (65%) than males. Airborne allergies were the most frequent (623), and there were very high rates of co-occurrence of pollen, house dust mite, and animal hair allergies. Less than half (410) patients had a food allergy, with nuts, fruit, and seafood being the most common allergens. Fifteen percent (142) had both a food and a non-food allergy. Certain food allergies were more likely to co-occur, for example, patients allergic to dairy products were more likely to be allergic to egg.
There were age differences by types of allergy; people referred with food allergies were on average 5 years younger than those with other allergies, and those allergic to nuts were much younger (26 Vs 38) than those with other food allergies.
There was clear evidence for spatial clustering with marked clustering around the referral hospital. However, the geographical distribution varied between allergies; airborne (particularly pollen allergies) clustered in North Dartmoor and Exmoor, food allergies (particularly nut allergies) in the South Hams, and on small numbers, some indication of seafood allergy in the far south west of Cornwall and in the Padstow area.
Conclusions
This study shows marked geographical differences in allergy referrals which are likely to reflect a combination of environmental factors and GP referral patterns. The data suggest that GPs may benefit from education and ongoing decision support and be supported by public education on the nature of allergy. It suggests further research into what happens to patients with allergy where there has been low use of tertiary services and further research into cross-reactivity and co-occurrence, and spatial distribution of allergy.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-790
PMCID: PMC3022859  PMID: 21190546
19.  231 Pattern of Positive Sensitization in Patient with Asthma and Rhinitis to 3600 MSNM (La Paz, Bolivia) 
Background
In the high altitude exists very few studies about allergies, we seek to give to know our sensitization in population with breathing problems (asthma and Allergic Rhinitis).
Methods
They were carried out allergy tests to 94 patients between 6 and 13 years with breathing symptoms predominantly allergic rhinitis and asthma. They were carried out allergy tests to foods like peanut, wheat, almond, tomato, milk, fish, soya, nuts, corn egg, chocolate, dog epithelia, cat, rabbit, feathers, horse, dermatophagoides spp, blatella, periplaneta pollens: lolium, poa, cynodon, festuca, ambrosia, artemisa, plantago, chenopodium, rumex, zea mays, populus, cupressus, platanus, fraxinus, schinus, dactylis, and mushrooms like it would alternate, aspergillus and cladosporium. They took positive all hives bigger than 3 mm of diameter.
Results
Of the 94 patients 9 gave negative to the tests, 88 positive%. In the foods, milk prevails (lactoglobuline 39%; casein 21%), tomato 33%, fish, almond and wheat; 23% peanut and nuts less than 10%. In the epithelia: cat 20%. Dermatophagoides 46%, pollens grasses lolium 13% and poa 14%, other pollens important festuca, chenopodium and dactylis with 21 to 23%, trees less than 15% and mushrooms with less than 15%. You begin handling predominantly according to these tests to dematophagoides, poa, lolium, festuca, dactylis, mushrooms and cat epithelium since their reactions were similar to the positive challenge of histamine. It is necessary to mention that the diagnoses were alone allergic Rinitis on the whole in 60%, asthma allergic single 10% and asthma and rinitis 30%.
Conclusions
Although this is a closed population, it guides us that to 3600 m.s.n.m. the allergen more frequent is dermatophagoides, and many articles refers that to high altitude we are liberated of the mites but it is not this way. Another important discovery is the positive to milk, tomato and very little to other foods that it is part of our population's diet. They are data that deserve the attention and we will continue advancing in finding other factors of risk, clinic and prevalence.
doi:10.1097/01.WOX.0000411988.03051.09
PMCID: PMC3512971
20.  Sensitization to Indigenous Pollen and Molds and Other Outdoor and Indoor Allergens in Allergic Patients From Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Sudan 
Background
Airborne allergens vary from one climatic region to another. Therefore, it is important to analyze the environment of the region to select the most prevalent allergens for the diagnosis and treatment of allergic patients.
Objective
To evaluate the prevalence of positive skin tests to pollen and fungal allergens collected from local indigenous plants or isolated molds, as well as other outdoor and indoor allergens in allergic patients in 6 different geographical areas in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the United Arab Emirates, and Sudan.
Materials and methods
Four hundred ninety-two consecutive patients evaluated at different Allergy Clinics (276 women and 256 men; mean age, 30 years) participated in this study. The selection of indigenous allergens was based on research findings in different areas from Riyadh and adjoining areas. Indigenous raw material for pollen grains was collected from the desert near the capital city of Riyadh, KSA. The following plants were included: Chenopodium murale, Salsola imbricata, Rumex vesicarius, Ricinus communis, Artiplex nummularia, Amaranthus viridis, Artemisia monosperma, Plantago boissieri, and Prosopis juliflora. Indigenous molds were isolated from air sampling in Riyadh and grown to obtain the raw material. These included the following: Ulocladium spp., Penicillium spp., Aspergillus fumigatus, Cladosporium spp., and Alternaria spp. The raw material was processed under Good Manufacturing Practices for skin testing. Other commercially available outdoor (grass and tree pollens) and indoor (mites, cockroach, and cat dander) allergens were also tested.
Results
The highest sensitization to indigenous pollens was detected to C. murale (32%) in Khartoum (Sudan) and S. imbricata (30%) and P. juliflora (24%) in the Riyadh region. The highest sensitization to molds was detected in Khartoum, especially to Cladosporium spp. (42%), Aspergillus (40%), and Alternaria spp. (38%). Sensitization to mites was also very prevalent in Khartoum (72%), as well as in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) (46%) and Jeddah (KSA) (30%).
Conclusions
The allergenicity of several indigenous pollens and molds derived from autochthonous sources was demonstrated. Prevalence studies in different regions of KSA and neighbor countries indicate different sensitization rates to these and other outdoor and indoor allergens.
doi:10.1097/WOX.0b013e31825a73cd
PMCID: PMC3651151  PMID: 23283107
allergens; diagnostics; bronchial asthma; allergic rhinitis; Saudi Arabia; Salsola; Prosopis; mites
21.  Allergen hybrids – next generation vaccines for Fagales pollen immunotherapy 
Summary
Background
Trees belonging to the order of Fagales show a distinct geographical distribution. While alder and birch are endemic in the temperate zones of the Northern Hemisphere, hazel, hornbeam and oak prefer a warmer climate. However, specific immunotherapy of Fagales pollen-allergic patients is mainly performed using birch pollen extracts, thus limiting the success of this intervention in birch-free areas.
Objectives
T cells are considered key players in the modification of an allergic immune response during specific immunotherapy (SIT), therefore we thought to combine linear T cell epitope-containing stretches of the five most important Fagales allergens from birch, hazel, alder, oak and hornbeam resulting in a Fagales pollen hybrid (FPH) molecule applicable for SIT.
Methods
A Fagales pollen hybrid was generated by PCR-based recombination of low IgE-binding allergen epitopes. Moreover, a structural-variant FPH4 was calculated by in silico mutagenesis, rendering the protein unable to adopt the Bet v 1-like fold. Both molecules were produced in Escherichia coli, characterized physico-chemically as well as immunologically, and tested in mouse models of allergic sensitization as well as allergy prophylaxis.
Results
Using spectroscopic analyses, both proteins were monomeric, and the secondary structure elements of FPH resemble the ones typical for Bet v 1-like proteins, whereas FPH4 showed increased amounts of unordered structure. Both molecules displayed reduced binding capacities of Bet v 1-specific IgE antibodies. However, in a mouse model, the proteins were able to induce high IgG titres cross-reactive with all parental allergens. Moreover, prophylactic treatment with the hybrid proteins prevented pollen extract-induced allergic lung inflammation in vivo.
Conclusion
The hybrid molecules showed a more efficient uptake and processing by dendritic cells resulting in a modified T cell response. The proteins had a lower IgE-binding capacity compared with the parental allergens, thus the high safety profile and increased efficacy emphasize clinical application for the treatment of Fagales multi-sensitization.
doi:10.1111/cea.12250
PMCID: PMC4041320  PMID: 24330218
allergen-specific immunotherapy; birch pollen allergy; Fagales pollen allergy; hybrid protein; immunomodulation; protein remodelling
22.  Subtropical grass pollen allergens are important for allergic respiratory diseases in subtropical regions 
Background
Grass pollen allergens are a major cause of allergic respiratory disease but traditionally prescribing practice for grass pollen allergen-specific immunotherapy has favoured pollen extracts of temperate grasses. Here we aim to compare allergy to subtropical and temperate grass pollens in patients with allergic rhinitis from a subtropical region of Australia.
Methods
Sensitization to pollen extracts of the subtropical Bahia grass (Paspalum notatum), Johnson grass (Sorghum halepense) and Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) as well as the temperate Ryegrass (Lolium perenne) were measured by skin prick in 233 subjects from Brisbane. Grass pollen-specific IgE reactivity was tested by ELISA and cross-inhibition ELISA.
Results
Patients with grass pollen allergy from a subtropical region showed higher skin prick diameters with subtropical Bahia grass and Bermuda grass pollens than with Johnson grass and Ryegrass pollens. IgE reactivity was higher with pollen of Bahia grass than Bermuda grass, Johnson grass and Ryegrass. Patients showed asymmetric cross-inhibition of IgE reactivity with subtropical grass pollens that was not blocked by temperate grass pollen allergens indicating the presence of species-specific IgE binding sites of subtropical grass pollen allergens that are not represented in temperate grass pollens.
Conclusions
Subtropical grass pollens are more important allergen sources than temperate grass pollens for patients from a subtropical region. Targeting allergen-specific immunotherapy to subtropical grass pollen allergens in patients with allergic rhinitis in subtropical regions could improve treatment efficacy thereby reducing the burden of allergic rhinitis and asthma.
doi:10.1186/2045-7022-2-4
PMCID: PMC3320540  PMID: 22409901
Grass pollen; Allergic rhinitis; IgE; Bahia grass pollen; Bermuda grass pollen; Ryegrass pollen
23.  A Group-1 Grass Pollen Allergen Influences the Outcome of Pollen Competition in Maize 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(1):e154.
Worldwide, 400 million people suffer from hay fever and seasonal asthma. The major causative agents of these allergies are pollen specific proteins called the group-1 grass pollen allergens. Although details of their antigenicity have been studied for 40 years with an eye towards immunotherapy, their function in the plant has drawn scant attention. Zea m 1 constitutes a class of abundant grass pollen allergens coded for by several genes that loosen the walls of grass cells, including the maize stigma and style. We have examined the impact of a transposon insertion into one of these genes (EXPB1, the most abundant isoform of Zea m 1) on the production of Zea m 1 protein, pollen viability, and pollen tube growth, both in vitro and in vivo. We also examined the effect of the insertional mutation on the competitive ability of the pollen by experimentally varying the sizes of the pollen load deposited onto stigmas using pollen from heterozygous plants and then screening the progeny for the presence of the transposon using PCR. We found that the insertional mutation reduced the levels of Zea m 1 in maize pollen, but had no effect on pollen viability, in vitro pollen tube growth or the proportion of progeny sired when small pollen loads are deposited onto stigmas. However, when large pollen loads are deposited onto the stigmas, the transposon mutation is vastly underrepresented in the progeny, indicating that this major pollen allergen has a large effect on pollen tube growth rates in vivo, and plays an important role in determining the outcome of the pollen-pollen competition for access to the ovules. We propose that the extraordinary abundance (4% of the extractable protein in maize pollen) of this major pollen allergen is the result of selection for a trait that functions primarily in providing differential access to ovules.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000154
PMCID: PMC1764715  PMID: 17225858
24.  Pollen Lipidomics: Lipid Profiling Exposes a Notable Diversity in 22 Allergenic Pollen and Potential Biomarkers of the Allergic Immune Response 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e57566.
Background/Aim
Pollen grains are the male gametophytes that deliver sperm cells to female gametophytes during sexual reproduction of higher plants. Pollen is a major source of aeroallergens and environmental antigens. The pollen coat harbors a plethora of lipids that are required for pollen hydration, germination, and penetration of the stigma by pollen tubes. In addition to proteins, pollen displays a wide array of lipids that interact with the human immune system. Prior searches for pollen allergens have focused on the identification of intracellular allergenic proteins, but have largely overlooked much of the extracellular pollen matrix, a region where the majority of lipid molecules reside. Lipid antigens have attracted attention for their potent immunoregulatory effects. By being in close proximity to allergenic proteins on the pollen surface when they interact with host cells, lipids could modify the antigenic properties of proteins.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We performed a comparative pollen lipid profiling of 22 commonly allergenic plant species by the use of gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy, followed by detailed data mining and statistical analysis. Three experiments compared pollen lipid profiles. We built a database library of the pollen lipids by matching acquired pollen-lipid mass spectra and retention times with the NIST/EPA/NIH mass-spectral library. We detected, identified, and relatively quantified more than 106 lipid molecular species including fatty acids, n-alkanes, fatty alcohols, and sterols. Pollen-derived lipids stimulation up-regulate cytokines expression of dendritic and natural killer T cells co-culture.
Conclusions/Significance
Here we report on a lipidomic analysis of pollen lipids that can serve as a database for identifying potential lipid antigens and/or novel candidate molecules involved in allergy. The database provides a resource that facilitates studies on the role of lipids in the immunopathogenesis of allergy. Pollen lipids vary greatly among allergenic species and contain many molecules that have stimulatory or regulatory effects on immune responses.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0057566
PMCID: PMC3585183  PMID: 23469025
25.  Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial of sublingual immunotherapy in children with house dust mite allergy in primary care: study design and recruitment 
BMC Family Practice  2008;9:59.
Background
For respiratory allergic disorders in children, sublingual immunotherapy has been developed as an alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy. Sublingual immunotherapy is more convenient, has a good safety profile and might be an attractive option for use in primary care. A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study was designed to establish the efficacy of sublingual immunotherapy with house dust mite allergen compared to placebo treatment in 6 to18-year-old children with allergic rhinitis and a proven house dust mite allergy in primary care. Described here are the methodology, recruitment phases, and main characteristics of the recruited children.
Methods
Recruitment took place in September to December of 2005 and 2006. General practitioners (in south-west Netherlands) selected children who had ever been diagnosed with allergic rhinitis. Children and parents could respond to a postal invitation. Children who responded positively were screened by telephone using a nasal symptom score. After this screening, an inclusion visit took place during which a blood sample was taken for the RAST test.
Results
A total of 226 general practitioners invited almost 6000 children: of these, 51% was male and 40% <12 years of age. The target sample size was 256 children; 251 patients were finally included. The most frequent reasons given for not participating were: absence or mildness of symptoms, absence of house dust mite allergy, and being allergic to grass pollen or tree pollen only. Asthma symptoms were reported by 37% of the children. Of the enrolled children, 71% was sensitized to both house dust mite and grass pollen. Roughly similar proportions of children were diagnosed as being sensitized to one, two, three or four common inhalant allergens.
Conclusion
Our study was designed in accordance with recent recommendations for research on establishing the efficacy of sublingual immunotherapy; 98% of the target sample size was achieved. This study is expected to provide useful information on sublingual immunotherapy with house dust mite allergen in primary care. The results on efficacy and safety are expected to be available by 2010.
Trial registration
the trial is registered as ISRCTN91141483 (Dutch Trial Register)
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-9-59
PMCID: PMC2577674  PMID: 18937864

Results 1-25 (20840)