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Immunochemical and Physical Quantitation of Grass and Olive Pollen Allergens: Correlation With Asthma Admissions in Cáceres, Spain

Porcel Carreño S1, Gómez Nieves E1, Fernández-Caldas E2,3, Abel Fernández E2, Cases B2, Tudela JI2, Maghfour Martin Y1, Domínguez Domínguez E1, Alvarado Arenas M1, Jiménez Timón S1, Ahmida T1, García Ponce JF1, Jiménez Gallardo P1, Alvarado Izquierdo MI1, Hernández Arbeiza J1

1Sección de Alergología, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Cáceres, Cáceres, Spain
2Inmunotek SL, Alcalá de Henares, Spain
3University of South Florida, College of Medicine, Tampa, USA

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol 2020; Vol 30(5) : 334-339
doi: 10.18176/jiaci.0434

Background: The association between pollen counts and allergen levels in the air is controversial.
Objectives: The aims of the study were to quantify total and major allergen levels of Phleum pratense and Olea europaea and to analyze their correlation with grass and olive pollen counts and the number of asthma attacks attended at Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Cáceres, Spain.
Material and methods: A volumetric air sampler and a Burkard spore trap were used for pollen and aeroallergen collection during April- June 2011. Filters were extracted, and major allergens were quantified using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: May was the main grass pollination period, with a maximum peak of 1362 grains/m3 (May 13). The main pollination period for olive was April 30-May 20, with a maximum peak of 851 grains/m3 (May 11). A moderate correlation was observed between asthma exacerbations and grass pollen counts or Phleum total allergen levels; this became stronger when a 3-day offset was introduced. A significant association was observed between asthma exacerbations and total olive allergen or olive pollen grain levels when a 1-day offset was introduced. The maximum correlation (moderate-high) was observed 4 days and 6 days away from the maximum olive pollen peak and the maximum Ole e 1 peak level, respectively.
Conclusions: This study reveals a significant correlation between grass and olive pollination and an increase in the number of visits to the emergency room for asthma attacks. The aerobiological pattern of allergen levels in the air is similar to that of pollen counts during the grass and olive pollination periods.

Key words: Grass, Olive, Pollen, Allergens, Levels, Phl p 1, Phl p 5, Ole e 1