Meijer E, Grobbee DE, Heederik D, Detection of workers sensitised to high molecular weight allergens: A diagnostic study in laboratory animal workers., Occup Environ Med, 2002;59:189-195,

BOHRF Original Authors' Main Conclusions

The original authors' main conclusions are taken from Abstract, Results and Discussion. They are decided upon by the authors of the BOHRF occupational asthma guidelines and form part of the guidelines.

Study aimed to develop and validate a diagnostic rule to predict sensitisation in laboratory animal workers. Baseline data from 551 laboratory animal workers participating in an ongoing cohort study, bridging a period of 3 years, were used for diagnostic research. Data from 472 workers participating in the first period of the study represented the derivation set and data from 79 workers, participating during the second period, represented the validation set. Serum samples were analysed for specific IgE antibodies against common and laboratory animal allergens, and questionnaire items, exposure determinants, IgE serology, skin prick tests (SPTs), and lung function tests were analysed. Asthmatic symptoms, (work-related) allergic symptoms, sex, occupational exposure to rats, and a positive SPT to common allergens, showed the best performance in discriminating workers at high or at low risk of being sensitised. Authors concluded that high and low risk categories for work-related sensitisation could be distinguished from simple questionnaire data and SPT results. The method can easily be applied in occupational medical practice and may markedly increase the efficiency of occupational health surveillance in laboratory animal workers as well as other workers exposed to high molecular weight allergens.

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