Occupational Asthma Reference
Gomez-Olles S, Cruz MJ, Bogdanovic J, Wouters IM, Doekes G, Sander I, Morell F, Rodrigo MJ,
Assessment of soy aeroallergen levels in different work environments,
Clin Exp Allergy,
Keywords: air measurements, Spain, Barcelona, antigen,
Background Airborne soybean hull proteins are known causes of asthma epidemics around harbours and soy processing plants. Soy flour dust proteins may cause occupational allergy in food and feed industries.
Objective To compare enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) for soy hull and soy flour aeroallergens, exposure assessment in various work environments.
Methods Airborne dust samples (n=324) from soy unloading and/or processing plants, the animal feed industry and pig stables were analysed by two soy flour assays: one assay for measuring complete soy hull proteins and two assays for measuring the purified low-molecular-weight (LMW) soy hull allergens.
Results Immunoblotting confirmed strong differences between antibody specificities and soy preparations. The results of the two soy flour assays and the assay for measuring complete soy hull proteins were highly correlated (r>0.85). The two LMW soy hull assays also showed a strong mutual correlation (r=0.91), but much less correlation with assays for measuring soy flour and complete soy hull. The levels of LMW soy hull proteins were the highest at sites of soybean unloading or processing, while soy flour levels were particularly high in the soy and animal feed industry.
Conclusions The optimal EIA procedure for soy aeroallergen exposure assessment depends on the type of work environment and the local soy dust composition. Thus, the type of work environment should always be taken into account in future soy allergy studies in order to prevent a possible underestimation of the workers' actual risk of developing soy allergy
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