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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1997 Nov;100(5):656-61.

Concentrations of the major birch tree allergen Bet v 1 in pollen and respirable fine particles in the atmosphere.

Author information

  • 1Pollen and Allergen Research Group, School of Botany, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Birch tree pollen allergens are an important cause of early spring hay fever and allergic asthma. Pollen counts provide a guide for individuals with birch pollen allergy. However, birch pollen, because of its size, has a low probability of entering the lower airways to trigger asthma. Yet birch pollen allergens are known to be associated with respirable particles present in the atmosphere.

OBJECTIVE:

We sought to determine the concentration of major allergen Bet v 1 in birch pollen and respirable particles in the atmosphere during the birch pollen season.

METHODS:

We used a two-site monoclonal antibody-based assay (ELISA) to quantitate Bet v 1 in pollen extracts and high-volume air sampler filters collecting particles larger and smaller than 7.2 microm.

RESULTS:

Bet v 1 (0.006 ng) is detectable per birch pollen grain, of which 0.004 ng is present in aqueous extracts (13.9% of soluble proteins). Atmospheric Bet v 1 concentrations are correlated with birch pollen counts. Heavy rainfall tended to wash out pollen and particles, indicated by a mean daily Bet v 1 concentration of 0.12 ng/m3 (20 pollen equivalents), but light rainfall produced a dramatic increase in allergen-loaded respirable particles with Bet v 1 concentrations of 1.2 ng/m3 (200 pollen equivalents).

CONCLUSION:

These results highlight the different environmental risk factors for hay fever and allergic asthma in patients sensitized to Bet v 1. Light rainfall causes an increase in respirable particles; hence, this is an important risk factor for asthma.

PMID:
9389296
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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