Changes in IgE-mediated allergy to ubiquitous inhalants after removal from or diminution of exposure to the agent causing occupational asthma

L. Perfetti, J. Hébert, Y. Lapalme, H. Ghezzo, D. Gautrin, J. L. Malo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: One possibility, among others, for explaining the persistence of asthma symptoms in occupational asthma (OA) after the cessation of exposure to the causal agents may be that subjects become sensitized to ubiquitous inhalants. Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the development or increase of IgE-mediated sensitization to ubiquitous allergens, both to high- and low-molecular-weight agents, in 100 subjects with OA after cessation of exposure. Methods: Subjects were evaluated on a first visit, at the time of diagnosis of OA, coinciding with the cessation or diminution of exposure to the causal agent, and on a second visit, 5.8 ± 3.3 years afterwards. At each visit, a history of ocular, nasal and asthmatic symptoms related to exposure to common allergens was obtained together with spirometry and assessment of bronchial responsiveness to methacholine. We analysed total IgE and specific IgE to Dermatophagoides farinae, D. pteronyssinus, birch, ragweed and timothy grass pollens, cat and dog danders, and Alternaria, using enzyme allergosorbent test (EAST) from blood samples taken on each visit. Results: Total IgE levels showed a tendency to diminish. No changes were found in the number of positive EAST (presence of detectable levels of specific IgE) or in the levels of specific IgE. Although significantly more symptoms of rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma in contact with house dust (P <0.05) and pets (P <0.01) were reported on the second visit than on the first, no significant changes in the frequency of symptomatic sensitized subjects were found. Conclusion: Subjects with OA are unlikely to develop IgE-dependent sensitization to common inhalants after removal from exposure to occupational agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-73
Number of pages8
JournalClinical and Experimental Allergy
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Keywords

  • Asthma
  • IgE
  • Occupational asthma
  • Occupational diseases
  • Radioallergosorbent test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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