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Original Article


Aerobiological and allergenic analysis of Cupressaceae pollen in Granada (Southern Spain)


C. Díaz de la Guardia1, F. Alba1, C. de Linares1, D. Nieto-Lugilde1, J. López Caballero2

1 Departamento de Botánica. Facultad de Ciencias. Universidad de Granada. Granada, Spain
2 Alergomedic. Clínicas de Alergia y Asma. Granada, Spain

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2006; Vol. 16(1): 24-33



Summary. Cupressaceae pollen has been cited in recent years as one of the major airborne allergens of the Mediterranean region, prompting us to conduct an exhaustive analysis on the aerobiological behaviour of this pollen in the Iberian Peninsula and the repercussion that it has had on the atopic population. The aerobiological study, performed from 1996 to 2003 in the city of Granada (S. Spain), used a volumetric Hirst collector. The results indicate that this pollen is present in the air most of the year, registering a high incidence during the winter months. This type of pollen behaved irregularly in the air, fluctuating yearly, seasonally, and within the same day.
Temperature and humidity were the parameters that most directly influence the variability of this allergen, while rainfall prior to flowering increased pollen production. The predictive models used estimated a high percentage of the levels reached over the short term by this pollen in the atmosphere of Granada. The clinical study performed
with atopic patients showed that some 30% of the population with pollinosis are sensitive to Cupressaceae pollen, affecting people of both genders equally. On the other hand, the most sensitive age group was 21-40 years of age, while children and the elderly registered almost negligible values. Most of the sensitive subjects resided within
the city or in the metropolitan area, where environmental pollution reached high levels, while the pathology was found to be less frequent in rural zones. The most frequent symptoms were upper-respiratory ailments and an asthmatic profile.

Key words: Aerobiology, allergy, Cupressaceae pollen, predictive models, southern Spain.