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Allergy. 2002 Feb;57(2):92-7.

Privet pollen (Ligustrum sp.) as potential cause of pollinosis in the city of Cordoba, south-west Spain.

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Department of Botany, University of Córdoba, Campus Universitario de Rabanales, Colonia San José, Córdoba, Spain.



Privet pollen rarely accounts for more than 1% of the annual total of daily pollen concentrations measured in a city; however in areas where these trees are widely used as ornamentals the amounts collected may be high enough to cause allergy symptoms.


Air samples taken with volumetric particle samplers Lanzoni VPPS 1000 (Lanzoni s.r.l., Bologna, Italy) show that there are differences in privet pollen concentrations measured in neighbourhoods with a high incidence of privet trees and in those taken at some distance from the source of emission.


The results suggest that differences are due to the short dispersal range of the pollen grains once released from the plant, resulting from both the entomophilous nature of the plant and the large size of the pollen grains. Urban design, moreover, may play an important role in impeding pollen grain dispersion if the air cannot flow freely through long, narrow avenues. Another important consideration is that the last stages of the flowering period of privet overlaps with the flowering period of olive trees, the main allergen in the area. The fact that the two pollen types share common allergens means that there may be a cross-reaction between olive tree pollen and privet pollen.


Privet pollen should be considered as a potential causative agent of local allergy problems in areas where its presence is extensive and is in combination with other allergens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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