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Exposure to an abundance of cat (Fel d 1) and dog (Can f 1) allergens in Swedish farming households.

Allergy

Sweden, Agricultural Workers' Diseases, immunology, Agriculture, Allergens, analysis, Animals, Antigens, Plant, Asthma, epidemiology, Beds, Cats, Dogs, Dust, Floors and Floorcoverings, Glycoproteins, Housing, Humans, Respiratory Hypersensitivity, Seasons

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      Abstract

      Earlier studies have shown that farmers are to a low degree sensitized to animal allergens. We have measured the amount of cat (Fel d 1) and dog (Can f 1) in farm households and examined the relationship between exposure and sensitization to cat and dog allergens. Dust samples from the homes of 403 farmers who had participated in an epidemiologic follow-up study on respiratory symptoms were analyzed for allergen content by two-site ELISA methods. Fel d 1 was detected in 99.5% of the farmers' households ranging from 0.055 to 1455 microg/g dust in mattresses (GM 13.2) and to 3775 microg/g dust in living-room carpets (GM 17.1). Can f 1 was detected in 90.6% of the households from 0.2 to 116 microg/g dust in mattresses (GM 2.0) and to 504 microg/g dust in carpets (GM 4.3). Homes with pets present had the highest levels of the allergens (P<0.001). A total of 8.4% and 7.4% of the farmers were sensitized to cat and dog, respectively. A significant correlation was noted between exposure to the allergens and specific IgE to cat and dog, respectively (P<0.001). Sensitization to cat (OR = 4.9) and dog (OR = 17.8) was significantly associated with asthma. In spite of the abundance of Fel d 1 and Can f 1, farmers are only to a low degree sensitized to cats and dogs.

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      10321558

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