Winck JC, Delgado L, Murta R et al, Cork workers' occupational asthma: lack of association with allergic sensitisation to fungi of the work environment, Int Arch Occup Environ Health, 2004;77:296-300,

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 evaluate allergic sensitisation to Chrysonilia sitophila, Penicillium glabrum, and Trichoderma longibrachiatum in cork workers with asthma. Skin prick tests with common allergens and with 3 fungi were performed on 10 cork workers with asthma and 8 non-exposed asthmatics. Based on serial peak expiratory flow measurements, 5 were classified as having occupational asthma and 5 as having non-occupational asthma. 2/10 patients with occupational exposure and 4/8 of control group showed positive results for skin prick tests for common allergens. All exposed patients had negative skin prick test results for the fungal extracts. In patients with asthma and occupational exposure, immunoblotting results confirmed the absence of specific IgE. However, specific IgG4 was present in some cases. Authors conclude that atopy does not seem to characterise occupational asthma in cork workers. Despite their long exposure to moulds, no evidence of IgE sensitisation was found to the 3 most prevalent cork fungi in patients with OA, which points to the search for other causative agents, such as cork chemical compounds or contaminants.

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