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Airborne fungi causing respiratory allergy in patients from Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil

Keywords: Airborne fungi , Asthma , Rhinitis , Prick test , Aspergillus , Alternaria , Drechslera

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Abstract:

The dispersal of airborne fungi is made through atmospherical air. Knowledge of anemophilous fungi in a given city is important for the ecological diagnosis and specific treatment of allergic manifestations induced by inhaled allergens. Their use in individuals' allergy is widespread, and probably will remain so in the years to come. The purpose of this research was to make a relationship between the airborne fungi and the patients' respiratory allergy (asthma and rhinitis) from the city of Fortaleza, state of Ceará, Brazil. First a research was made in Fortaleza about the fungal allergens dispersed in atmospherical air. Fungal allergen extracts were made from the ten most predominant moulds in the air, using sodium bicarbonate. The prick tests were made in fifty patients with asthma and rhinitis and in ten healthy persons (with no respiratory allergy). The positive test was made using histamine and the negative test with sodium bicarbonate preparation. The predominant fungi in the air of Fortaleza were: Aspergillus, Penicillium, Curvularia, Cladosporium, Mycelia sterilia, Fusarium, Rhizopus, Drechslera, Absidia and Alternaria. As determined by the prick test: three fungal extracts (Aspergillus, Alternaria and Drechslera) were positive in all patients; two (Penicillium and Curvularia) were positive in thirty-five patients; two (Cladosporium and Mycelia sterilia) were positive in thirty patients; and three (Rhizopus, Absidia and Fusarium) were positive in nine patients. All the control tests were negative. All the ten most predominant anemophilous fungi isolated in the air could provoke skin test reactivity in individuals with respiratory allergy in Fortaleza.

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