Krakowiak A, Palczynski C, Walusiak J et al, Allergy to animal fur and feathers among zoo workers, Int Arch Occup Environ Health, 2002;75:S113-116,

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 determine the prevalence of respiratory symptoms and immediate hypersensitivity to feather and fur allergens and pulmonary function among 68 zoological garden workers. 45 subjects revealed positive skin prick tests (SPT) with any inhalant allergen. 12 reacted to feather extracts and 18 reacted to animal fur extracts. IgE specific for occupational allergens was seen in the serum of 5 subjects with SPTs positive to feather allergens and in the serum of 12 subjects with SPTs positive to fur allergens. Rhinitis and asthma were reported by atopic subjects more often than by non-atopic subjects. Occupational asthma due to feathers was diagnosed in 2% of zoo workers, and to fur in 10% of subjects working in contact with birds and furred animals. Authors conclude that results suggest that occupational asthma caused by feathers is very rare in contrast to asthma caused by animal fur. Atopy predisposes to the development of allergic diseases caused by animal fur and feathers.

BOHRF Associated Evidence Statements

The BOHRF occupational asthma guidelines state that this reference is associated with the following evidence statements

*** 2++ Atopy increases the risk of developing occupational asthma caused by exposure to many high molecular weight agents that induce the production of specific IgE antibodies.

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