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ILAR J. 2001;42(1):12-6.

Laboratory animal allergens.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Division of Allergy and Immunology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Abstract

Allergic sensitivity to laboratory animals can pose a significant occupational hazard to anyone with regular animal contact. Reactions to mice and rats are most common although all furred animals produce allergens that can lead to sensitization and disease. Most of the relevant allergens of laboratory animals have been defined and characterized, which has revealed that these allergens are typically small, acidic glycoproteins and that many of them are members of a superfamily of extracellular proteins called lipocalins. In addition to understanding their molecular characteristics, the identification of these allergens has also made it possible to measure their distribution in laboratory environments and to relate exposure levels to sensitization and symptoms. These studies have shown that the major laboratory animal allergens are carried on small particles that are both capable of remaining airborne for extended periods and penetrating into the lower airways of exposed workers. These advances in the understanding of these important occupational allergens will allow for the development of better methods of diagnosis and avoidance for affected workers and others who may be at risk for future difficulties.

PMID:
11123185
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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