Detection of airborne allergen (Pla a 1) in relation to Platanus pollen in Córdoba, South Spain

Carmen Galán 1,  
Carmen Torres 1,  
University of Córdoba, Spain
Ann Agric Environ Med 2015;22(1):96–101
Córdoba is one of the Spanish cities with the highest records of plane tree pollen grains in the air. Clinical studies have identified[i] Platanus[/i] as a major cause of pollinosis. This fact provokes an important public health problem during early spring when these trees bloom. The objective of the study is to evaluate the correlation between airborne pollen counts and Pla a 1 aeroallergen concentrations in Córdoba, to elucidate if airborne pollen can be an accurate measure that helps to explain the prevalence of allergenic symptoms. Pollen sampling was performed during 2011–2012 using a Hirst-type sampler. Daily average concentration of pollen grains (pollen grains/m 3 ) was obtained following the methodology proposed by the Spanish Aerobiology Network. A multi-vial cyclone was used for the aeroallergen quantification. Allergenic particles were measured by ELISA using specific antibodies Pla a 1. The trend of[i] Platanus[/i] pollen was characterized by a marked seasonality, reaching high concentrations in a short period of time. Airborne pollen and aeroallergen follow similar trends. The overlapping profile between both variables during both years shows that pollen and Pla a 1 are significantly correlated. The highest significant correlation coefficients were obtained during 2011 and for the post peak. Although some studies have found notable divergence between pollen and allergen concentrations in the air, in the case of [i]Platanus[/i] in Córdoba, similar aerobiological dynamics between pollen and Pla a 1 have been found. Allergenic activity was found only during the plane tree pollen season, showing a close relationship with daily pollen concentrations. The obtained pollen potency was similar for both years of study. The results suggest that the allergenic response in sensitive patients to plane tree pollen coincide with the presence and magnitude of airborne pollen.