Occupational Asthma Reference

Matsumura Y, Niitsuma T, Ito H, A study of factors contributing to bakers' allergy symptoms, Arerugi, 1994;43:625-633,

Keywords: oa, baker, wheat, flour, grain, cook, food, hotel, IgE, IgG4, alpha amylase, papain, rhinitis

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Abstract

It has been known for many years that bakers, who work in an atmosphere filled with wheat flour and other grain products, often suffer from bronchial asthma and other allergy symptoms. We examined 36 cooks (males: 33, females: 3, average age: 29.1 years) exposed to wheat products while baking bread or making confectionaries in a hotel. Their clinical symptoms were investigated, and peripheral blood eosinophils, serum IgE, wheat flour specific IgE, IgG1, IgG4, and antibodies to alpha-amylase and papain were measured. Clinical symptoms were present in some cases, the most common being rhinitis (13), itching and skin eruptions (8), ocular symptoms, including tearing, itching and conjunctival injection (8), and respiratory symptoms, including cough and sputum production (8). Wheat flour specific RAST was positive in 44.4% of cases. Peripheral eosinophils and wheat flour specific IgG1 levels were increased in those with positive RAST scores. Total IgE level and wheat flour specific IgG4 also seemed to be increased in those with positive RAST scores. Wheat flour specific IgG1 and IgG4 seemed to correlate positively with wheat flour specific IgE. The exposure duration correlated with neither total IgE nor wheat flour specific IgE. In those who were wheat flour RAST positive, wheat flour specific IgG1 levels correlated negatively with exposure duration. In RAST negative cases, however, there was no correlation. Similarly, there seemed to be a tendency for wheat flour specific IgG4 levels and exposure duration to correlate negatively in RAST positive cases. The subjects of this study initially worked in poorly ventilated areas.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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