Indexed on: 14 Jun '16Published on: 11 Jun '16Published in: Aerobiologia
Throughout the years, pollen has been widely studied as an aeroallergen, but less is known about fungal spores.It has long been established that fungal spores are present in the atmosphere in high concentration, considerably in excess of pollen grains, but the debate regarding their potential allergenicity is far from resolved. Although there is an agreement among allergists that inhaled fungi are responsible for production of upper and lower respiratory tract symptoms there is a paucity of data on the actual incidence of respiratory allergy induced by inhaled fungal spores.Although positive immediate and delayed skin reactivity is obtained with crude extracts of many fungal species, the clinical relevance of the reactivity is often uncertain and the contribution of fungal allergens to production of symptoms in any given patient is often difficult to assess. This is due to many factors, among which are the following: 1) The choice and method of preparing fungal extracts for skin testing and provocative challenge has varied markedly among investigators and there are nearly as many allergen extraction and isolation procedures as there are researchers and commercial suppliers of allergens. 2) There is much variability in the antigen/allergen content of extracts. For this reason the quality and potency of mould allergenic extracts has often been poor and variable. For the standardization of extracts the allergens of moulds need to be elucidated. 3) Relatively few organisms have been studied in detail, and many common fungi still need initial clinical evaluation. 4) A single, well-defined, mould season usually does not occur, making it especially difficult to select a study population with unique seasonal mould allergy.