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Lack of correlation between regional pollen counts and percutaneous reactivity to tree pollen extracts in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis.
White JF; Levin L; Villareal M; Murphy K; Biagini R; Wellinghoff L; St Clair HG; Bernstein DI
Ann Allergy, Asthma, & Immun 2005 Feb; 94(2):240-246
Background: Although seasonal patterns of tree pollination have been reported, it is unknown if aerobiologic data correlate with patterns of in vivo sensitization. Objective: To evaluate the relationship between regional tree pollen exposure and patterns of in vivo percutaneous reactivity to specific tree pollen extracts in a local patient population with seasonal allergic rhinitis. Methods: Patients with spring seasonal allergic rhinitis and percutaneous sensitivity to 1 or more regional tree pollens were studied. Tree pollen counts were collected at the same urban site from 1997 to 2002 and at a suburban site in 2002. Patients underwent skin prick testing with commercial extracts of 15 indigenous tree species. Serum specific IgE measurements were assayed in a subset of sensitized patients. Results: Of 127 patients who reported symptoms consistent with seasonal allergic rhinitis during the spring pollen season, 93 qualified based on demonstration of at least 1 positive skin prick test result. Mean 5-year pollen counts (1997-2001) and 2002 urban counts were highly correlated (Spearman r = 0.95, P <.001), indicating that year-to-year pollen counts were consistent. No significant correlation was found between mean seasonal pollen counts (urban site, 1997-2001) and frequencies of skin prick test reactivity to specific tree pollen allergens (Spearman r = -0.03, P =.93). No significant relationship was found between 5-year mean tree pollen counts and positive serum specific IgE tests for specific tree pollens (Spearman r = -0.42, P =.30). Eight of 15 species elicited percutaneous reactions in more than 50% of patients (ie, satisfying definition of a major in vivo allergen). However, 6 of the 8 major tree allergens each represented 5% or less of 5-year mean total tree pollen counts. Conclusion: No correlation was found between overall frequencies of in vivo sensitization to tree pollen allergens in a local population and regional pollen exposure data.
Allergic-reactions; Allergies; Allergens; Respiratory-irritants; Skin-irritants; Skin-exposure; Skin-tests; Immunological-tests; Immunology
DI Bernstein, University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine0, Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Medicine, 231 Albert Sabin Way, Cincinnati, OH 45267
Issue of Publication
Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division