Regional importance of Alnus pollen as an aeroallergen: A comparative study of Alnus pollen counts from Worcester (UK) and Poznań (Poland)
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National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit, University of Worcester, UK
Laboratory of Aeropalynology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland
Department of Dermatology, University of Medical Sciences, Poznań, Poland
Corresponding author
Matt Smith   

National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit, University of Worcester, Henwick Road, Worcester, WR2 6AJ, United Kingdom.
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2007;14(1):123-128
Daily average Alnus pollen counts (1996-2005) from Worcester (UK) and Poznań (Poland) were examined with the aim of assessing the regional importance of Alnus pollen as an aeroallergen. The average number of Alnus pollen grains recorded annuallyat Poznań was more than 2.5 times that of Worcester. Furthermore, daily average Alnus pollen counts exceeded the thresholds of 100, 500 and 1,000 grains/m3 more times at Poznań than Worcester. Skin prick test results (1996-2005) and allergen-specific IgE (asIgE) measurements using the CAP (Pharmacia) system (2002-2005), were supplied by the Allergic Diseases Diagnostic Centre in Poznań. The annual number of positive skin prick tests to Alnus pollen allergens was significantly related (p<0.05) to seasonal variations in the magnitude of the Alnus pollen catch recorded at Poznań (r=0.70). The symptoms of patients with positive skin prick tests to Alnus pollen allergens were: 51% pollinosis, 43% atopic dermatitis, 4% asthma, 1% chronic urticaria and 1% eczema. On a scale of 0-6, 20.5% of patients examined for serum asIgE in relation to Alnus pollen allergens had asIgE measurements in classes 5 and 6. Alnus pollen is generally considered to be mildly allergenic. However, the amount of Alnus pollen released into the atmosphere in places such as Poznań may increase its impact on the population and make it one of the more important aeroallergens present.
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