Return to Contents in this Issue

Original Article


Prevalence of Artemisia Species Pollinosis in Western Poland: Impact of Climate Change on Aerobiological Trends, 1995–2004


A Stach, 1 H García-Mozo, 2 JC Prieto-Baena, 2,3 M Czarnecka-Operacz, 4 D Jenerowicz, 4 W Silny, 4 C Galán 2

1 Laboratory of Aeropalynology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland
2 Departamento de Botanica, Ecología y Fisiología Vegetal, Universidad de Córdoba, Córdoba, Spain
3 National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit, University of Worcester, Worcester, United Kingdom
4 Allergy Diseases Diagnostic Centre, University of Medical Science, Poznan, Poland

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2007; Vol. 17(1): 39-47



Background: Artemisia species pollen represents a major cause of allergy in Central Europe. Variations in the pollen season, the influence of climate variables and the prevalence of pollinosis to it were analyzed in Poznan, in western Poland between 1995 and 2004.

Methods: A Hirst volumetric spore trap was used for atmospheric sampling. Pollination date trend analysis and Spearman correlation tests were performed. Skin prick tests (SPT) and allergen specific immunoglobulin (Ig)E antibody measurements were performed in 676 and 524 patients, respectively.

Results: The Artemisia species pollen season grew longer due to a clear advance in the starting day and only a slightly earlier end point; the peak day also came slightly earlier. Rainfall in the fi rst fortnight of July highly influenced pollen season severity. Temperature was directly correlated with daily Artemisia species pollen levels; relative humidity was inversely correlated. Twelve percent of patients had a positive SPT reaction to Artemisia species. Their symptoms were rhinitis and conjunctivitis (15%), atopic dermatitis (15%), chronic urticaria (14.3%), bronchial asthma (2.4%), and facial and disseminated dermatitis (1.3%). Elevated specifi c IgE concentrations were detected in the sera of 10.1% of patients.

Conclusions: Artemisia species pollen is an important cause of pollinosis in western Poland. Pollen season intensity is highly influenced by rainfall in the previous weeks. Trends towards earlier season starts and longer duration, possibly caused by climate change, may have an impact on the allergic population.

Key Words: Aerobiology, Artemisia species pollen. Climate change impact. Meteorological influence. Pollen allergy.