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Aerobiological importance and allergic sensitization to Amaranthaceae under arid climate conditions

Elvira-Rendueles, Belén, Zapata, Juan J., Miralles, Juan C., Moreno, José M., García-Sánchez, Antonio, Negral, Luis, Moreno-Grau, Stella
The Science of the total environment 2017 v.583 pp. 478-486
Amaranthaceae, arid zones, autumn, bioaerosols, dry environmental conditions, flowering, hay fever, meteorological data, patients, pollen, risk, spring, summer, Spain
Species of the Amaranthaceae family are abundant in the Southeast of Spain, one of the driest areas in Europe. The Amaranthaceae include species of interest from the point of view of allergic diseases. With the expansion of aridity, many species belonging to this family will be favoured. The objectives of this study were: first, to define the prevalence of sensitization to Amaranthaceae pollen in allergic patients in the Southeast of Spain; second, to present the aerobiological features of this taxon; and, finally, to demarcate those periods of increased risk of suffering allergic symptoms with the aim of improving the diagnosis and prevention of hay fever. Skin prick tests with extracts of pollen were performed on patients with symptoms of respiratory allergy referred for consultation for the first time in Almería and Murcia. Samples of the atmospheric bioaerosol were taken using a Lanzoni VPPS 2000 volumetric sampler, samples treatment and subsequent counts being carried out according to the methodology approved by the Spanish Aerobiological Network. The statistical significance of the correlation between aerobiological and meteorological data from this arid region in 2010–2014 was determined. The aerobiological study revealed the presence of two distinct peaks responsible for pollen symptoms. The flowering of this taxon is especially noteworthy in the city of Cartagena, where it supposes 94% of the total pollen collected in these periods. This situation converts Amaranthaceae pollen in the second leading cause of hay fever in the Southeast of Spain. With the expansion of aridity, an increase in the presence of these species is expected. Bearing in mind their prevalence in the spring and summer/autumn periods and their extensive presence in the bioaerosol, this makes data from Southeastern Spanish a benchmark with respect to the aerobiology of this type of pollen.