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Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2013 Jan-Feb;41(1):17-24. doi: 10.1016/j.aller.2011.08.001. Epub 2011 Oct 5.

Prevalence and real clinical impact of Cupressus sempervirens and Juniperus communis sensitisations in Tuscan "Maremma", Italy.

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Unità di Pneumologia, Ospedale "Misericordia", Grosseto, Italy. Electronic address:
CNR, Istituto di Fisiologia Clinica, Pisa, Italy.



The aim was to evaluate the impact of Cupressus sempervirens (Cs) and Juniperus communis (Jc) sensitisations in "Maremma" in southern Tuscany.


811 consecutive outpatients (357 F - 57.86%; age: 36.9 ± 16.6) with suspected allergic respiratory symptoms underwent skin prick tests (SPT) for common allergens and for Cs and Jc.


SPT resulted negative in 295 (36.37%) subjects. A Cs/Jc sensitisation was found in 294 (36.25%): 289 (98.3%) were sensitised to Cs whereas 198 (67.34%) to Jc. There was a co-sensitisation between Cs and Jc in 193 (65.6%) subjects. Cs/Jc mono-sensitisation was found in 39 (13.6%) subjects. A higher number (p<0.0001) of Cs/Jc sensitised subjects reported winter (131-44.55%) and spring (124-42.2%) symptoms compared to Cs/Jc non-sensitised and non-allergic subjects. Most Cs/Jc sensitised subjects reported rhinitis and conjunctivitis (p<0.0001), whereas only few reported coughing and asthma (p<0.01). The most frequent co-sensitisation was with grass, olive and other trees in Cs/Jc subjects (p<0.001). Those who reported winter symptoms, likely influenced by Cupressaceae, rhinitis was the main symptom whereas asthma was less frequent. Cs/Jc sensitisation resulted to be a risk factor (OR: 1.73 [CI95% 1.18-2.55]) for rhinitis whereas the probability of being asthmatic was reduced (OR: 0.62 [CI95% 0.44-0.85]).


The prevalence of Cs/Jc sensitisation is about 36% in "Maremma". However, only in 44% of the patients, Cs/Jc seem to cause typical winter symptoms. Rhinitis is the predominant symptom, whereas asthma is less frequent. Testing Cupressaceae sensitisation using Jc pollen extract, rather than Cs, may result to be less sensitive.


Allergy; Cupressus sempervirens; Juniperus communis; Prevalence; Sensitisation

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