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1/1. 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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