Occupational Asthma Reference

Quirce S, Cuevas M, DiezGomez M, FernandezRivas M, Hinojosa M, Gonzalez R, Losada E, Respiratory allergy to Aspergillus-derived enzymes in bakers' asthma, J Allergy Clin Immunol, 1992;90:970-978,

Keywords: oa, enzyme, baker, ch, cellulase, IgE, amylase, flour

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Santiago Quirce, Madrid Santiago Quirce

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Baking and food industry workers are exposed to several powdered Aspergillus-derived enzymes with carbohydrate-cleaving activity that are commonly used to enhance baked products. We describe a retrospective study of sensitization to fungal alpha-amylase and cellulase on bakers. Five bakers in whom respiratory allergy symptoms developed when they were exposed to bread "improvers" that contained fungal alpha-amylase and cellulase were investigated by in vivo and in vitro tests. Type I hypersensitivity to these enzymes was demonstrated in the five patients by means of skin testing, histamine release test, positive reverse enzyme-immunoassay for specific IgE antibodies, and bronchial provocation test response to alpha-amylase or cellulase or both. Isolated immediate and dual responses to the bronchial challenge tests with these enzymes were observed. Immunoblot analysis with use of a pooled serum identified IgE-binding components in both enzymes. In the reverse-enzyme immunoassay-inhibition assays cross-reactivity between alpha-amylase and cellulase was not found, but some degree of cross-reactivity between alpha-amylase and A. oryzae, and between cellulase and A. niger was demonstrated. Four of the patients were also sensitized to cereal flour. Aspergillus-derived enzymes used as flour additives can elicit IgE-mediated respiratory allergy, and this fact has to be considered in the diagnosis and clinical management of bakers' asthma

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