Prevalence of sensitization to Cupressus sempervirens: A 4-year retrospective study

Giuseppe Papa, Antonino Romano, Donato Quaratino, Marina Di Fonso, Marinella Viola, Maria Cristina Artesani, Sabina Sernia, Mario Di Gioacchino, Alberto Venuti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the last few years Cupressus sempervirens has been identified as the cause of an increasing number of cases of late winter-early spring pollinosis in Mediterranean countries. We conducted a 4-year retrospective study of a large group of subjects with documented allergic respiratory disease in order to determine the prevalence, clinical significance and annual rate of sensitization to C. sempervirens pollen. Anamnestic data and skin prick tests (SPT) with common aeroallergens and C. sempervirens extract were collected from 1397 subjects (712 male and 685 female) resident in Latium, a region in central Italy, with complaints related to upper- or lower-respiratory-tract disorders or conjunctival disease. Two hundred and forty-three subjects (17.4%) showed positive results to C. sempervirens extract; 47 (19.3%) of them were monosensitized. The annual sensitization rate of SPT positivity to C. sempervirens varied from 7.2% in 1995 to 22% in 1998. All the subjects monosensitized to cypress pollen had symptoms from January through April. Our study suggests that sensitivity to C. sempervirens is responsible for respiratory symptoms in an increasing percentage of subjects. Further studies are needed to determine its frequency at the national level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-87
Number of pages5
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 10 2001


  • Cypress
  • Pollinosis
  • Skin prick test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)


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