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Environ Res. 1998 Feb;76(2):85-93.

The relationship between symptoms and IgG and IgE antibodies in an office environment.

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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226, USA.


Airborne fungi have been postulated as a cause of symptoms among office workers. Using the MAST chemiluminescent system, this study evaluated 36 IgG and 36 IgE antibody levels in 47 office workers from an area with elevated airborne fungal concentrations and 44 office workers from an otherwise similar area with lower airborne fungal exposure. No difference was found in IgG antibody to fungi between the lower and higher exposure areas, but high IgG antibody to one or more of the fungi studied was detected in 67% of all the workers tested. IgE antibody to one or more antigens was detected in 40% of the participants. Workers who reported atopic symptoms (sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes) or "sick building" symptoms (any three of the following temporally related to work: headache, fatigue, stuffy nose, irritated eyes, or sore throat) were more likely to have one positive IgE antibody test. Type I hypersensitivity to aeroallergens besides fungi may play a role in some symptoms reported by some participants in this office building.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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