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      Fungal allergens.

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      Clinical Microbiology Reviews
      American Society for Microbiology

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          Abstract

          Airborne fungal spores occur widely and often in far greater concentrations than pollen grains. Immunoglobulin E-specific antigens (allergens) on airborne fungal spores induce type I hypersensitivity (allergic) respiratory reactions in sensitized atopic subjects, causing rhinitis and/or asthma. The prevalence of respiratory allergy to fungi is imprecisely known but is estimated at 20 to 30% of atopic (allergy-predisposed) individuals or up to 6% of the general population. Diagnosis and immunotherapy of allergy to fungi require well-characterized or standardized extracts that contain the relevant allergen(s) of the appropriate fungus. Production of standardized extracts is difficult since fungal extracts are complex mixtures and a variety of fungi are allergenic. Thus, the currently available extracts are largely nonstandardized, even uncharacterized, crude extracts. Recent significant progress in isolating and characterizing relevant fungal allergens is summarized in the present review. Particularly, some allergens from the genera Alternaria, Aspergillus, and Cladosporium are now thoroughly characterized, and allergens from several other genera, including some basidiomycetes, have also been purified. The availability of these extracts will facilitate definitive studies of fungal allergy prevalence and immunotherapy efficacy as well as enhance both the diagnosis and therapy of fungal allergy.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Clinical Microbiology Reviews
          Clin. Microbiol. Rev.
          American Society for Microbiology
          0893-8512
          1098-6618
          April 01 1995
          April 1995
          April 1995
          April 01 1995
          : 8
          : 2
          : 161-179
          Article
          10.1128/CMR.8.2.161
          172854
          7621398
          56d2b0d4-2ff4-4546-8c77-bf725f781c57
          © 1995
          History

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