Occupational Asthma Reference

Budnik LT, Scheer E, Burge PS, Baur X, Sensitising effects of genetically modified enzymes used in flavour, fragrance, detergence and pharmaceutical production: cross-sectional study, Occup Environ Med, 2017;74:39-45,10.1136/oemed-2015-103442

Keywords: enzyme, IgE, fragrance, baking, food, amylase, stainzyme, pancreatinin, papain, ovozyme, phytase, trypsin, glucanase, lipase, genetic engineering,

Known Authors

Sherwood Burge, Oasys Sherwood Burge

Xaver Baur, Institute of occupational medicine, Hamburg Xaver Baur

If you would like to become a known author and have your picture displayed along with your papers then please get in touch from the contact page. Known authors can choose to receive emails when their papers receive comments.

Abstract

Objectives
The use of genetically engineered enzymes in the synthesis of flavourings, fragrances and other applications has increased tremendously. There is, however, a paucity of data on sensitisation and/or allergy to the finished products. We aimed to review the
use of genetically modified enzymes and the enormous challenges in human biomonitoring studies with suitable assays of specific IgE to a variety of modified enzyme
proteins in occupational settings and measure specific IgE to modified enzymes in exposed workers.

Methods
Specific IgE antibodies against workplace specific individual enzymes were measured by the specific fluorescence enzyme-labelled immunoassay in 813 exposed workers seen in cross-sectional surveys.

Results
Twenty-three per cent of all exposed workers showed type I sensitisation with IgE antibodies directed against respective workplace-specific enzymes. The highest sensitisation frequencies observed were for workers exposed enzymes derived from a-amylase (44%), followed by stainzyme (41%), pancreatinin (35%), savinase (31%), papain (31%), ovozyme (28%), phytase (16%), trypsin (15%) and lipase (4%). The highest individual antibody levels (up to 110 kU/L) were detected in workers exposed to phytase, xylanase and glucanase. In a subgroup comprising 134 workers, detailed clinical diagnostics confirmed work-related symptoms. There was a strong correlation (r=0.75, p<0.0001) between the symptoms and antibody levels. Workers with work-related respiratory symptoms showed a higher prevalence for the presence of specific IgE
antibodies against workplace-specific enzymes than asymptomatic exposed workers (likelihood ratio 2.32, sensitivity 0.92, specificity 0.6).

Conclusions
Our data confirm the previous findings showing that genetically engineered enzymes are potent allergens eliciting immediate-type sensitisation. Owing to lack of commercial diagnostic tests, few of those exposed receive regular surveillance including
biomonitoring with relevant specific IgE assays.

Full Text

Associated Questions

Registered users of this website have associated this reference with the following questions. This association is not a part of the BOHRF occupational asthma guidelines.

Which agents cause occupational asthma and which workers are at risk?
burgeps This study shows that genetically modified enzymes in widespread use cause IgE-related sensitisation in exposed workers, and that there may be little cross-reaction with the naturally occuring unmodified enzymes

Please Log In or Register to put forward this reference as evidence to a question.

Comments

Please sign in or register to add your thoughts.


Oasys and occupational asthma smoke logo