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Mismatch in aeroallergens and airborne grass pollen concentrations

Plaza, M.P., Alcázar, P., Hernández-Ceballos, M.A., Galán, C.
Atmospheric environment 2016 v.144 pp. 361-369
allergenicity, allergens, atmospheric chemistry, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, grasses, hay fever, monitoring, patients, pollen, relative humidity, spore traps, temperature, Spain
An accurate estimation of the allergen concentration in the atmosphere is essential for allergy sufferers. The major cause of pollinosis all over Europe is due to grass pollen and Phl p 5 has the highest rates of sensitization (>50%) in patients with grass pollen-induced allergy. However, recent research has shown that airborne pollen does not always offer a clear indicator of exposure to aeroallergens. This study aims to evaluate relations between airborne grass pollen and Phl p 5 concentrations in Córdoba (southern Spain) and to study how meteorological parameters influence these atmospheric records. Monitoring was carried out from 2012 to 2014. Hirst-type volumetric spore trap was used for pollen collection, following the protocol recommended by the Spanish Aerobiology Network (REA). Aeroallergen sampling was performed using a low-volume cyclone sampler, and allergenic particles were quantified by ELISA assay. Besides, the influence of main meteorological factors on local airborne pollen and allergen concentrations was surveyed. A significant correlation was observed between grass pollen and Phl p 5 allergen concentrations during the pollen season, but with some sporadic discrepancy episodes. The cumulative annual Pollen Index also varied considerably. A significant correlation has been obtained between airborne pollen and minimum temperature, relative humidity and precipitation, during the three studied years. However, there is no clear relationship between allergens and weather variables. Our findings suggest that the correlation between grass pollen and aeroallergen Phl p 5 concentrations varies from year-to-year probably related to a complex interplay of meteorological variables.