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Symptoms of the olive pollen allergy: do they really occur only in the pollination season?

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Celal Bayar University, Medical Faculty, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Immunology and Allergy. Turkey.



Olive (Olea europaea; O.e.) pollen is a major cause of seasonal respiratory allergy. The O.e. pollination season lasts two months from the beginning of May till the end of June. It was expected that patients with allergic disease from O.e. sensitization were symptomatic only during this period. However, during the last few years, we have observed that the clinical symptoms appear not only during the O.e. pollination season but also during the rest of the year.


The aim of this study was to observe and document symptoms of respiratory allergic diseases in the O.e. sensitized patients during the O.e. pollination season and after it.


One hundred and twenty-seven patients with respiratory allergic disease were enrolled in the study. Allergenic sensitizations were shown by SPT. Finally, patients were split into two groups as monosensitized with O.e. (n=19) and polysensitized (n=108). Patients were assessed by using scores of respiratory allergic disease symptoms and percentage of peak expiratory flow rate values (PEFR %) (only for asthmatic patients) during the O.e. pollination season and after it.


Of the patients with O.e. monosensitization, 13 had allergic rhinitis (AR) only while six had allergic asthma (AA) additionally. AR alone and accompanied by AA was present in 84 and 24 polysensitized patients respectively. Eleven patients with O.e. sensitization (57.9 %) and 86 patients with polysensitization (79.6 %) had AR symptoms throughout the year irrespective of the O.e. pollination season. Similarly, three of the O.e. monosensitized and ten of the polysensitized patients with AA had asthmatic symptoms during the O.e. pollination season and also after it.


In the patient group sensitive to O.e. along with other pollen extracts, it was possible to observe symptoms outside the pollination season. However, patients with O.e. monosensitization also had symptoms to a great extent outside the season.

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