Immunologic reactivity to work-related airborne allergens in people occupationallyexposed to dust from herbs.

Jacek Dutkiewicz 1, Czesława Skórska 1, Barbara Mackiewicz 1, Marcin Golec 2
1 -
2 - Department of Occupational Biohazards, Institute of Agricultural Medicine, Jaczewskiego2, 20-090 Lublin, Poland.
Ann Agric Environ Med
2004; 11 (1):
ICID: 142678
Article type: Original article
A group of 150 people occupationally exposed to dust from herbs were examined.The examined group consisted of 47 thyme farmers, 32 chamomile farmers, 31 sage farmers and 40 workersof herbs processing industry. As a reference group, 50 urban dwellers, not exposed to any kind of organicdust, were examined. Skin prick tests and precipitin tests were conducted with, respectively, 4 and 11microbial antigens associated with organic dust. Both skin and precipitin tests were also conducted withherbal extracts of chamomile and sage. Precipitin tests were carried out with sera not concentrated andsera 3-fold concentrated. Tests for inhibition of leukocyte migration (MIF) were also conducted with4 microbial antigens. People occupationally exposed to dust from herbs showed a higher frequency of positiveskin reactions to microbial antigens compared to the reference group. The results of precipitin testalso revealed greater reactivity to the environmental microbial antigens in the examined group, comparedto the reference group. The highest frequency of positive results was noted with the antigen of Pantoeaagglomerans (30.6 % with sera not concentrated and 48.3 % with sera 3-fold concentrated) - the differencecompared to the reference group (12.0 %) was highly significant (p < 0.01). The frequencies of positiveresults of MIF test in the examined group were high with all antigens tested: Arthrobacter globiformis(12.6 %), Pantoea agglomerans (11.1 %), Saccharopolyspora rectivirgula (17.0 %), Aspergillus fumigatus(13.3 %), and, compared to the reference group with no positive result for any antigen, all the differenceswere significant (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the frequency of positive allergological reactions to airbornemicroorganisms was high in people occupationally exposed to dust from herbs and suggests a potentialrole of microbial allergens in the pathogenesis of work-related health disorders among herb workers.The risk of sensitization seems to be greatest among thyme farmers, who showed the highest positive response.The results confirmed the particular allergenic importance of Gram-negative bacterium Pantoea agglomerans.
PMID 15236509 - click here to show this article in PubMed

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