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Rev Med Interne. 1994;15 Suppl 2:216s-225s.

[Occupational asthma caused by organic substances].

[Article in French]

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Service de médecine D-médecine interne, immunologie clinique et allergologie, CHU de Brabois, Vandoeuvre-lès-Nancy, France.


Occupational asthma (OA) to organic substances is frequently related to IgE-dependent hypersensitivity. New etiological agents are latex and vegetal gums, in health care personnel as in carpet-making manufactures. Bakers are exposed to numerous allergens: wheat and cereal flours, sesame and other seed proteins, alpha-amylase and other enzymes. Alpha-amylase extracted from Aspergillus orizae is a potent allergen. Plant derived materials have been identified as allergens in the floral industry (Ficus, Ginseng, Gypsophila, etc). The accurate diagnosis relies upon a thorough history, completed by measurements of peak expiratory flows during the work. Sensitization can be confirmed by prick tests and immuno assays for IgE antibodies. Bronchial provocation tests documenting OA are advisable. The early detection of OA might be evaluated by skin tests to occupational allergens repeated yearly. The prevention of OA relies on air sampling technologies controlling the allergenic density of the atmosphere and removing asthmatics from exposed areas. There are no scientific grounds for discarding atopics from occupations at risk for OA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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