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Original Article


Allergenic fungi spore records (15 years) and sensitization in patients with respiratory allergy in Thessaloniki-Greece


D. Gioulekas1, A. Damialis1, D. Papakosta1, F. Spieksma2, P. Giouleka1,
D. Patakas1

1 Pulmonary Department, G. P. Hospital «G. Papanikolaou», Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
2 Aerobiology Laboratory, Pulmonary Department, University of Leiden, the Netherlands

J Invest Allergol Clin Immunol 2004; Vol. 14(3): 225-231



Background: The prevalence of respiratory allergy to fungi spores (FS) is not precisely known but is estimated at 20-30% of atopic patients. There are no aerobiological records, necessary for respiratory allergy diagnosis and treatment, in Thessaloniki and generally in Greece.

: Creation of a database on FS circulation and investigation of skin sensitivity (SS) of asthmatics by using skin prick tests (SPT).

Material and methods: Daily records and identification of 15 airborne FS species were conducted, using a Burkard trap during 1987-2001. SS to 5 most common FS extracts was investigated, by using SPT in a total of 1311 asthmatics with atopy, submitted to the Out-Patient Clinic of Asthma (Pulmonary Dept, Aristotle Univ, Thessaloniki) in1990-2001.

: The FS recorded in the 15-year period were as follows: Cladosporium spp. (72.2%), Alternaria spp. (9.8%), Ustilago spp. (8.1%), Ascospores (2.7%), Agrocybe spp. (1.5%), Helminthosporium spp. (1.4%), Leptosphaeria spp (1.2%), Agrogybe spp. (1.1%), whereas the species Botrytis, Stemphylium, Pleospora, Nigrospora, Epicoccum, Fusarium, Torula and Phoma presented concentrations <1%. The highest numbers of
airborne FS were recorded during summer. Positive skin reaction to FS was observed in 421 (32%) patients of the 1311 asthmatics. Positive skin reaction to Alternaria species was observed in 177 patients (13.5%), in 98 (7.4%) to Cladosporium, 65 (5%) to Aspergillus, 45 (3.4%) to Fusarium and 36 (2.7%) to Rhizopus. FS sensitivity is much more frequent in younger men.

: For the first time in Thessaloniki-Greece, 15 allergenic FS species circulation has been recorded for the last 15 years. SS was more frequently detected for the species of Alternaria, Cladosporium and Aspergillus.

Keywords: Fungi spores, asthma, respiratory allergy, skin prick tests, Greece, Alternaria, Cladosporium, Aspergillus, Fusarium, alveolitis, Rhizopus.