Epidemiologic aspects of allergic aspergillosis.
Ann Allergy 1977 Mar; 38(3):215-218
Efforts were made to determine the degree of sensitivity to Aspergillus-fumigatus among a 379 member patient population as an index of both extent of exposure and the allergenicity of this mold. Skin reactivity to A-fumigatus was evaluated and compared to alternaria. Compost piles were also examined as important examples of decayed vegetation, and organic farmers exposed to compost were investigated. Of the 379 persons tested, 143 were positive on prick test to alternaria and 63 to A-fumigatus. None of the sera of the 4+ A-fumigatus reactors sensitized monkey skin while the serum of a patient with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis did sensitize. The compost samples were divided into hot and cold piles, unfinished and finished, respectively. Of the 21 hot piles, 17 were strongly positive for A-fumigatus. Four cold piles were negative. None of the 13 organic farmers who were in close contact with compost piles in their work was clinically sensitive. The sera of all 13 were negative for precipitating antibody to A-fumigatus. The authors suggest that active asthmatics with bronchospasm, increased sputum formation, and positive immediate skin reaction to A-fumigatus should not engage in organic farming unless they are exposed only to the cold compost heap devoid of fungal growth.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Fungi; Allergic-reactions; Agricultural-workers
Internal Medicine St Louis University 1402 S Grand Blvd St Louis, MO 63104
Annals of Allergy
St. Louis University, Saint Louis, Missouri