Sensitization to indigenous pollen and molds and other outdoor and indoor allergens in allergic patients from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Sudan

S. M. Hasnain, A. R. Al-Frayh, J. L. Subiza, Enrique Fernández-Caldas, M. Casanovas, T. Geith, M. O. Gad-El-rab, E. Koshak, H. Al-Mehdar, S. Al-Sowaidi, H. Al-Matar, R. Khouqeer, K. Al-Abbad, M. Al-Yamani, E. Alaqi, O. A. Musa, S. Al-Sedairy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Airborne allergens vary from one climatic region to another. Therefore, it is important to analyze the environment of the region to select the most prevalent allergens for the diagnosis and treatment of allergic patients. Objective: To evaluate the prevalence of positive skin tests to pollen and fungal allergens collected from local indigenous plants or isolated molds, as well as other outdoor and indoor allergens in allergic patients in 6 different geographical areas in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the United Arab Emirates, and Sudan. Material and Methods: Four hundred ninety-two consecutive patients evaluated at different Allergy Clinics (276 women and 256 men; mean age, 30 years) participated in this study. The selection of indigenous allergens was based on research findings in different areas from Riyadh and adjoining areas. Indigenous raw material for pollen grains was collected from the desert near the capital city of Riyadh, KSA. The following plants were included: Chenopodium murale, Salsola imbricata, Rumex vesicarius, Ricinus communis, Artiplex nummularia, Amaranthus viridis, Artemisia monosperma, Plantago boissieri, and Prosopis juliflora. Indigenous molds were isolated from air sampling in Riyadh and grown to obtain the raw material. These included the following: Ulocladium spp., Penicillium spp., Aspergillus fumigatus, Cladosporium spp., and Alternaria spp. The raw material was processed under Good Manufacturing Practices for skin testing. Other commercially available outdoor (grass and tree pollens) and indoor (mites, cockroach, and cat dander) allergens were also tested. Results: The highest sensitization to indigenous pollens was detected to C. murale (32%) in Khartoum (Sudan) and S. imbricata (30%) and P. juliflora (24%) in the Riyadh region. The highest sensitization to molds was detected in Khartoum, especially to Cladosporium spp. (42%), Aspergillus (40%), and Alternaria spp. (38%). Sensitization to mites was also very prevalent in Khartoum (72%), as well as in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) (46%) and Jeddah (KSA) (30%). Conclusions: The allergenicity of several indigenous pollens and molds derived from autochthonous sources was demonstrated. Prevalence studies in different regions of KSA and neighbor countries indicate different sensitization rates to these and other outdoor and indoor allergens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-65
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Allergy Organization Journal
Volume5
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

Keywords

  • Allergens
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Bronchial asthma
  • Diagnostics
  • Mites
  • Prosopis
  • Salsola
  • Saudi Arabia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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