A 39-year old woman, with a 8-year-history of allergic asthma from weed pollens, started working in a greenhouse as a basil plant picker and within 2 months developed severe vescisular hand dermatitis that would improve on holiday and relapse almost immediately after resuming work; prick test positive and patch test negative to fresh basil leaves. ELISA with fresh basil extract did not reveal any specific IgE antibody in the patient's serum. Protein contact dermatitis, first described in food handlers in 1976 by Hjorth and Roed-Petersen is defined as a chronic, recurrent dermatitis caused by contact with proteinaceous material. It is characterized by typical urticarial and/or vescicular flares arising, on a chronic eczematous background, within 20-30 minutes of contact with the causative food/substance. Recognized risk factors are atopy, chronic irritant dermatitis, wetwork and occupations or hobbies involving exposure to protein allergens. Diagnostic testing include prick test, patch test and skin food application (or manipulation) test with the triggering substance/s. Usually patch testing is negative, while prick-testing is positive, as in our case. This suggest an immediate type IgE-mediated reactivity, though circulating specific IgE can be detected only in some cases. The pathogenesis of protein contact dermatitis is still unclear but a combined hypersensitivity reaction type I and IV has been advocated.
|Translated title of the contribution||Occupational protein contact dermatitis from basil|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Annali Italiani di Dermatologia Allergologica Clinica e Sperimentale|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2008|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy