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1/2. tobacco allergy: demonstration of cross-reactivity with other members of solanaceae family and mugwort pollen.

    BACKGROUND: tobacco is a plant belonging to the solanaceae family. This plant is usually used as a contact insecticide for several infestations in some areas, such as the Canary islands. Allergy induced by inhalation of this plant is unusual. Identification of the potential allergen in growing areas is essential. OBJECTIVE: We report a patient with occupational sensitivity to an aqueous solution of cut tobacco whose clinical manifestations were rhinoconjunctivitis and urticaria. Past medical history was significant for seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis to mugwort pollen and oral allergy syndrome with avocado. methods: Green tobacco and cured tobacco leaf extracts were prepared, skin prick tests were performed with green tobacco, cured tobacco leaf extracts, and certain aeroallergens. Conjunctival challenge test was carried out with green tobacco and cured tobacco leaf extract. serum-specific IgE against tobacco leaf was performed by commercial CAP. CAP inhibition experiments were carried out with tobacco and artemisia vulgaris. RESULTS: skin prick tests and conjunctival challenge tests with green tobacco and cured tobacco leaf extracts were positive, as well as serum-specific IgE by CAP, indicating an IgE-mediated sensitization. CAP inhibition experiments were carried out and it was found that tobacco, mugwort pollen, and tomato extracts inhibited the binding of the patient's serum to solid-phase tobacco leaf. No inhibition was observed when alternaria, D. pteronyssinus, and potato were used as control inhibitors. Inhibition of immunoCAP to mugwort was obtained with mugwort and tobacco extracts and no cross-reactivity to D. pteronyssinus was shown. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that tobacco can induce IgE-mediated reactions that are mediated by the existence of common antigenic epitopes between tobacco and mugwort pollen. This allergy can be a hazard of employment in the agricultural areas.
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keywords = mugwort
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2/2. New occupational allergen in citrus farmers: citrus red mite (Panonychus citri).

    BACKGROUND: There have been several reports of occupational allergy to spider mites (tetranychidae), but no published report has described citrus red mite (CRM, Panonychus citri)-induced occupational asthma confirmed by specific bronchial challenge. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate clinical and immunologic characteristics of CRM-induced occupational asthma. methods AND RESULTS: We encountered 16 cases of CRM-induced occupational asthma among farmers cultivating citrus fruits. Asthmatic attacks corresponded closely with their work on citrus farms. The mean duration of the latent period was 12.9 (range 7 to 20) years. During their first visit to our clinic, nine patients with FEV1 lower than 70% of predictive value showed reversible airway obstruction after inhalation of bronchodilator, and seven with FEV1 greater than 70% of predictive value showed airway hyperresponsiveness to methacholine. Fifteen of the 16 also complained of recurrent nasal symptoms, which had developed at an earlier time than the asthmatic symptoms. They showed strong positive reactions to CRM extract on skin prick test (A/H ratio > or = 1.0) and had high serum specific IgE antibody against CRM which was detected by ELISA. skin prick test with common inhalant allergens revealed that 10 had an isolated positive response to CRM with negative results to common inhalant allergens in their environment. The ELISA inhibition tests with CRM demonstrated significant inhibitions by CRM in a dose-dependent manner, while minimal inhibitions were noted by D. pteronyssinus and mugwort allergens. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that CRM could induce IgE-mediated bronchoconstriction in exposed workers on citrus farm.
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keywords = mugwort
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