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Clin Exp Immunol. 2002 Jul;129(1):107-12.

Immunoglobulin G antibodies against indoor dampness-related microbes and adult-onset asthma: a population-based incident case-control study.

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Department of Occupational Medicine, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland.


Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies against microbes related to indoor dampness problems have been used as potential biomarkers of fungal exposure in clinical investigations. There is limited information on their relation to asthma. We conducted a population-based incident case-control study to assess the risk of asthma in relation to specific IgG antibodies to eight dampness-related microbes: Aspergillus fumigatus, A. versicolor, Cladosporium cladosporioides, Fusarium oxysporum, Sporobolomyces salmonicolor, Stachybotrys chartarum, Streptomyces albus and Trichoderma citrinoviride. We recruited systematically all new cases of asthma during a 2.5-year study period and randomly selected controls from a source population of adults 21-63 years of age living in the Pirkanmaa Hospital District, South Finland. The clinically diagnosed case series consisted of 521 adults with newly diagnosed asthma and the control series of 932 controls selected randomly from the source population. IgG antibodies were analysed with ELISA. An increased risk of developing asthma in adulthood was significantly related to IgG antibodies to T. citrinoviride, but not to the other moulds. There was no evidence of a dose-response relation between the IgG antibody level and the risk of asthma. T. citrinoviride may play a role in the aetiology of adult-onset asthma or serve as an indicator of other causal factors.

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