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Sci Total Environ. 2001 Apr 10;270(1-3):83-7.

Prevalence of sensitization to Cupressus sempervirens: a 4-year retrospective study.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, UCSC-Allergy Unit, C.I. Columbus, Rome, Italy.


In the last few years Cupressus sempervirens has been identified as the cause of an increasing number of cases of late winter-early spring pollinosis in Mediterranean countries. We conducted a 4-year retrospective study of a large group of subjects with documented allergic respiratory disease in order to determine the prevalence, clinical significance and annual rate of sensitization to C. sempervirens pollen. Anamnestic data and skin prick tests (SPT) with common aeroallergens and C. sempervirens extract were collected from 1397 subjects (712 male and 685 female) resident in Latium, a region in central Italy, with complaints related to upper- or lower-respiratory-tract disorders or conjunctival disease. Two hundred and forty-three subjects (17.4%) showed positive results to C. sempervirens extract: 47 (19.3%) of them were monosensitized. The annual sensitization rate of SPT positivity to C. sempervirens varied from 7.2% in 1995 to 22% in 1998. All the subjects monosensitized to cypress pollen had symptoms from January through April. Our study suggests that sensitivity to C. sempervirens is responsible for respiratory symptoms in an increasing percentage of subjects. Further studies are needed to determine its frequency at the national level.

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