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Original  Article


Prevalence of Cypress Pollen Sensitization and Its Clinical Importance in Izmir, Turkey, With Cypress Allergy Assessed by Nasal Provocation


AZ Sin, R Ersoy, O Gulbahar, O Ardeniz, NM Gokmen, A Kokuludag

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Ege University Medical Faculty, Izmir, Turkey

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2008; Vol. 18(1): 46-51



Background and objective: Pollens from the Cupressaceae family are considered important allergens in the Mediterranean area, though reports of the prevalence of allergic symptoms have ranged from 1.04% to 35.4%. Our aim was to detect the prevalence of cypress pollen sensitization and determine its clinical importance in patients with seasonal respiratory allergy.

Methods: We used skin prick tests (SPT) and serum specifi c IgE assays to reveal sensitization to cypress pollen. In patients who showed positive results to cypress pollen, a nasal provocation test (NPT) with pollen extract was used to assess the target organ response.

Results: Sixty-fi ve (14.3%) of 455 patients showed positive SPT responses to Cupressus sempervirens extract. Only 1 patient was monosensitized while 64 patients were polysensitized. Among those, 2 pollen cosensitizations were found to be signifi cant (86% were cosensitized to grasses and 72% were cosensitized to olive (P < .001). Serum specific IgE to cypress pollen was measured in 50 of the 65 patients; fi ndings were positive for 37. When these 37 patients underwent NPT with C sempervirens allergen extract, only the single monosensitized patient had a positive NPT.

Conclusion: A positive SPT to cypress pollen may not refl ect the true prevalence of sensitization. We assume that in the absence of a positive NPT, positive SPT results might be related to the presence of cross-reactivity between pollen species.

Key Words: Allergy. Cypress pollen. Cross-reactivity. Nasal provocation.