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Vol. 152, No. 1, 2010
Issue release date: April 2010
Section title: Original Paper
Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2010;152:58–65
(DOI:10.1159/000260084)

Occupational Allergy in Strawberry Greenhouse Workers

Patiwael J.A.a · Vullings L.G.J.c · de Jong N.W.a · van Toorenenbergen A.W.b · Gerth van Wijk R.a · de Groot H.d
a Section of Allergology, Department of Internal Medicine, and bDepartment of Clinical Chemistry, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, cAgricultural Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Services STIGAS, De Meern, and dAllergy Center, Reinier de Graaf Groep, Voorburg, The Netherlands

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: 12/29/2008
Accepted: 8/19/2009
Published online: 11/24/2009
Issue release date: April 2010

Number of Print Pages: 8
Number of Figures: 5
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 1018-2438 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0097 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/IAA

Abstract

Background: Employees in strawberry greenhouses are highly exposed to several (potential) allergenic agents. However, no occupational allergy in this branch has been described before. First, the presence of work-related allergic symptoms in strawberry workers was explored. Second, we aimed to prove the concept that an IgE-mediated allergy could be responsible for work-related symptoms. To test the possibility of an IgE response secondary to cross-reactivity to birch or grass pollen, inhibition experiments were performed. Methods: First, a questionnaire survey concerning work-related allergic symptoms among strawberry workers in the Netherlands was carried out. Second, 3 workers with work-related symptoms were investigated in detail. Skin tests, serum-specific IgE tests with home-made extracts of strawberry pollen and other possible allergenic agents of the strawberry greenhouse environment were executed. Furthermore, immunoblots and nasal provocations with strawberry pollen extract were performed. In addition, inhibition experiments were performed. Results: 29 of 75 questionnaire respondents (38.7%) reported work-related symptoms. Sensitization to strawberry pollen was found in skin tests in all 3 employees with work-related symptoms. ELISA and immunoblotting with strawberry pollen showed positive results in 2 employees. Birch and grass pollen failed to inhibit IgE binding to strawberry pollen in 1 of 2 employees. Partial inhibition was seen in the second employee. Nasal provocation validated clinically relevant allergy to these pollens in 2 of 3 subjects. Conclusions: Allergic symptoms attributable to the workplace are present among a proportion of strawberry greenhouse employees. An IgE-mediated occupational allergy to strawberry pollen may contribute to these symptoms.

© 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel


  

Author Contacts

Correspondence to: Dr. Jiska A. Patiwael
Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Allergology
Erasmus MC, Room number GK 324, Postbus 2040
Burgemeester s’ Jacobplein 51, NL–3000 CA Rotterdam (The Netherlands)
Tel. +31 10 704 0100, Fax + 31 10 703 4654, E-Mail j.patiwael@erasmusmc.nl

  

Article Information

Received: December 29, 2008
Accepted after revision: August 19, 2009
Published online: November 24, 2009
Number of Print Pages : 8
Number of Figures : 5, Number of Tables : 0, Number of References : 32

  

Publication Details

International Archives of Allergy and Immunology

Vol. 152, No. 1, Year 2010 (Cover Date: April 2010)

Journal Editor: Valenta R. (Vienna)
ISSN: 1018-2438 (Print), eISSN: 1423-0097 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/IAA


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: 12/29/2008
Accepted: 8/19/2009
Published online: 11/24/2009
Issue release date: April 2010

Number of Print Pages: 8
Number of Figures: 5
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 1018-2438 (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0097 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/IAA


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