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Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2001 Sep;1(5):466-73.

Cockroach allergens: environmental distribution and relationship to disease.

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  • 1Departmento Biologia Celular e Molecular, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil.


Cockroach allergy has been recognized as an important cause of asthma. Exposure to high levels of cockroach allergens in the home is a major risk factor for symptoms in sensitized individuals. Previously identified allergens from Blatella germanica and Periplaneta americana include Bla g 2 (inactive aspartic proteinase), Bla g 4 (calycin), Bla g 5 (glutathione-S-transferase), Bla g 6 (troponin), the Group 1 cross-reactive allergens Bla g 1 and Per a 1, Per a 3 (arylphorin), and Per a 7 (tropomyosin). The primary site of cockroach allergen accumulation is the kitchen. However, lower levels of allergen can be found in bedding, on the bedroom floor, and in sofa dust. Strategies for decreasing exposure to cockroach have been investigated. The results suggest that a sustained decrease in cockroach allergen levels is difficult to accomplish, even after successful extermination of cockroach populations. The use of recombinant cockroach allergens may lead to the development of new approaches to asthma treatment in the future.

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