Publications by authors named "Jeroen Buters"

52 Publications

Mixture Analyses of Air-sampled Pollen Extracts Can Accurately Differentiate Pollen Taxa.

Atmos Environ (1994) 2020 Dec 6;243. Epub 2020 Jul 6.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

The daily pollen forecast provides crucial information for allergic patients to avoid exposure to specific pollen. Pollen counts are typically measured with air samplers and analyzed with microscopy by trained experts. In contrast, this study evaluated the effectiveness of identifying the component pollens using the metabolites extracted from an air-sampled pollen mixture. Ambient air-sampled pollen from Munich in 2016 and 2017 was visually identified from reference pollens and extracts were prepared. The extracts were lyophilized, rehydrated in optimal NMR buffers, and filtered to remove large proteins. NMR spectra were analyzed for pollen associated metabolites. Regression and decision-tree based algorithms using the concentration of metabolites, calculated from the NMR spectra outperformed algorithms using the NMR spectra themselves as input data for pollen identification. Categorical prediction algorithms trained for low, medium, high, and very high pollen count groups had accuracies of 74% for the tree, 82% for the grass, and 93% for the weed pollen count. Deep learning models using convolutional neural networks performed better than regression models using NMR spectral input, and were the overall best method in terms of relative error and classification accuracy (86% for tree, 89% for grass, and 93% for weed pollen count). This study demonstrates that NMR spectra of air-sampled pollen extracts can be used in an automated fashion to provide taxa and type-specific measures of the daily pollen count.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2020.117746DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7485930PMC
December 2020

Use of biologicals in allergic and type-2 inflammatory diseases during the current COVID-19 pandemic: Position paper of Ärzteverband Deutscher Allergologen (AeDA), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Allergologie und Klinische Immunologie (DGAKI), Gesellschaft für Pädiatrische Allergologie und Umweltmedizin (GPA), Österreichische Gesellschaft für Allergologie und Immunologie (ÖGAI), Luxemburgische Gesellschaft für Allergologie und Immunologie (LGAI), Österreichische Gesellschaft für Pneumologie (ÖGP) in co-operation with the German, Austrian, and Swiss ARIA groups, and the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI).

Authors:
Ludger Klimek Oliver Pfaar Margitta Worm Thomas Eiwegger Jan Hagemann Markus Ollert Eva Untersmayr Karin Hoffmann-Sommergruber Alessandra Vultaggio Ioana Agache Sevim Bavbek Apostolos Bossios Ingrid Casper Susan Chan Alexia Chatzipetrou Christian Vogelberg Davide Firinu Paula Kauppi Antonios Kolios Akash Kothari Andrea Matucci Oscar Palomares Zsolt Szépfalusi Wolfgang Pohl Wolfram Hötzenecker Alexander R Rosenkranz Karl-Christian Bergmann Thomas Bieber Roland Buhl Jeroen Buters Ulf Darsow Thomas Keil Jörg Kleine-Tebbe Susanne Lau Marcus Maurer Hans Merk Ralph Mösges Joachim Saloga Petra Staubach Uta Jappe Klaus F Rabe Uta Rabe Claus Vogelmeier Tilo Biedermann Kirsten Jung Wolfgang Schlenter Johannes Ring Adam Chaker Wolfgang Wehrmann Sven Becker Laura Freudelsperger Norbert Mülleneisen Katja Nemat Wolfgang Czech Holger Wrede Randolf Brehler Thomas Fuchs Peter-Valentin Tomazic Werner Aberer Antje-Henriette Fink-Wagner Fritz Horak Stefan Wöhrl Verena Niederberger-Leppin Isabella Pali-Schöll Wolfgang Pohl Regina Roller-Wirnsberger Otto Spranger Rudolf Valenta Mübecell Akdis Paolo M Matricardi François Spertini Nicolai Khaltaev Jean-Pierre Michel Larent Nicod Peter Schmid-Grendelmeier Marco Idzko Eckard Hamelmann Thilo Jakob Thomas Werfel Martin Wagenmann Christian Taube Erika Jensen-Jarolim Stephanie Korn Francois Hentges Jürgen Schwarze Liam O Mahony Edward F Knol Stefano Del Giacco Tomás Chivato Pérez Jean Bousquet Anna Bedbrook Torsten Zuberbier Cezmi Akdis Marek Jutel

Allergol Select 2020 7;4:53-68. Epub 2020 Sep 7.

European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI).

Background: Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the treatment of patients with allergic and atopy-associated diseases has faced major challenges. Recommendations for "social distancing" and the fear of patients becoming infected during a visit to a medical facility have led to a drastic decrease in personal doctor-patient contacts. This affects both acute care and treatment of the chronically ill. The immune response after SARS-CoV-2 infection is so far only insufficiently understood and could be altered in a favorable or unfavorable way by therapy with monoclonal antibodies. There is currently no evidence for an increased risk of a severe COVID-19 course in allergic patients. Many patients are under ongoing therapy with biologicals that inhibit type 2 immune responses via various mechanisms. There is uncertainty about possible immunological interactions and potential risks of these biologicals in the case of an infection with SARS-CoV-2.

Materials And Methods: A selective literature search was carried out in PubMed, Livivo, and the internet to cover the past 10 years (May 2010 - April 2020). Additionally, the current German-language publications were analyzed. Based on these data, the present position paper provides recommendations for the biological treatment of patients with allergic and atopy-associated diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Results: In order to maintain in-office consultation services, a safe treatment environment must be created that is adapted to the pandemic situation. To date, there is a lack of reliable study data on the care for patients with complex respiratory, atopic, and allergic diseases in times of an imminent infection risk from SARS-CoV-2. Type-2-dominant immune reactions, as they are frequently seen in allergic patients, could influence various phases of COVID-19, e.g., by slowing down the immune reactions. Theoretically, this could have an unfavorable effect in the early phase of a SARS-Cov-2 infection, but also a positive effect during a cytokine storm in the later phase of severe courses. However, since there is currently no evidence for this, all data from patients treated with a biological directed against type 2 immune reactions who develop COVID-19 should be collected in registries, and their disease courses documented in order to be able to provide experience-based instructions in the future.

Conclusion: The use of biologicals for the treatment of bronchial asthma, atopic dermatitis, chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps, and spontaneous urticaria should be continued as usual in patients without suspected infection or proven SARS-CoV-2 infection. If available, it is recommended to prefer a formulation for self-application and to offer telemedical monitoring. Treatment should aim at the best possible control of difficult-to-control allergic and atopic diseases using adequate rescue and add-on therapy and should avoid the need for systemic glucocorticosteroids. If SARS-CoV-2 infection is proven or reasonably suspected, the therapy should be determined by weighing the benefits and risks individually for the patient in question, and the patient should be involved in the decision-making. It should be kept in mind that the potential effects of biologicals on the immune response in COVID-19 are currently not known. Telemedical offers are particularly desirable for the acute consultation needs of suitable patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5414/ALX02166EDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7480069PMC
September 2020

An operational robotic pollen monitoring network based on automatic image recognition.

Environ Res 2020 12 16;191:110031. Epub 2020 Aug 16.

Center of Allergy & Environment (ZAUM), Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Technische Universität München/Helmholtz Center, Munich, Germany. Electronic address:

There is high demand for online, real-time and high-quality pollen data. To the moment pollen monitoring has been done manually by highly specialized experts. Here we evaluate the electronic Pollen Information Network (ePIN) comprising 8 automatic BAA500 pollen monitors in Bavaria, Germany. Automatic BAA500 and manual Hirst-type pollen traps were run simultaneously at the same locations for one pollen season. Classifications by BAA500 were checked by experts in pollen identification, which is traditionally considered to be the "gold standard" for pollen monitoring. BAA500 had a multiclass accuracy of over 90%. Correct identification of any individual pollen taxa was always >85%, except for Populus (73%) and Alnus (64%). The BAA500 was more precise than the manual method, with less discrepancies between determinations by pairs of automatic pollen monitors than between pairs of humans. The BAA500 was online for 97% of the time. There was a significant correlation of 0.84 between airborne pollen concentrations from the BAA500 and Hirst-type pollen traps. Due to the lack of calibration samples it is unknown which instrument gives the true concentration. The automatic BAA500 network delivered pollen data rapidly (3 h delay with real-time), reliably and online. We consider the ability to retrospectively check the accuracy of the reported classification essential for any automatic system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.110031DOI Listing
December 2020

The development of birch pollen seasons over 30 years in Munich, Germany-An EAACI Task Force report.

Allergy 2020 12 31;75(12):3024-3026. Epub 2020 Aug 31.

Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Section of Rhinology and Allergy, University Hospital Marburg, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Marburg, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.14470DOI Listing
December 2020

Allergen immunotherapy in the current COVID-19 pandemic: A position paper of AeDA, ARIA, EAACI, DGAKI and GPA: Position paper of the German ARIA Group in cooperation with the Austrian ARIA Group, the Swiss ARIA Group, German Society for Applied Allergology (AEDA), German Society for Allergology and Clinical Immunology (DGAKI), Society for Pediatric Allergology (GPA) in cooperation with AG Clinical Immunology, Allergology and Environmental Medicine of the DGHNO-KHC and the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI).

Allergol Select 2020 28;4:44-52. Epub 2020 May 28.

German ARIA Group.

No abstract available.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5414/ALX02147EDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7304289PMC
May 2020

Anwendung von Biologika bei allergischen und Typ-2-entzündlichen Erkrankungen in der aktuellen Covid-19-Pandemie: Positionspapier des Ärzteverbands Deutscher Allergologen (AeDA)A, der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Allergologie und klinische Immunologie (DGAKI)B, der Gesellschaft für Pädiatrische Allergologie und Umweltmedizin (GPA)C, der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Allergologie und Immunologie (ÖGAI)D, der Luxemburgischen Gesellschaft für Allergologie und Immunologie (LGAI)E, der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Pneumologie (ÖGP)F in Kooperation mit der deutschen, österreichischen, und schweizerischen ARIA-GruppeG und der Europäischen Akademie für Allergologie und Klinische Immunologie (EAACI)H.

Allergo J 2020 24;29(4):14-27. Epub 2020 Jun 24.

Zentrum für Rhinologie & Allergologie, An den Quellen 10, 65183 Wiesbaden, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s15007-020-2553-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7289636PMC
June 2020

Influence of wood species on toxicity of log-wood stove combustion aerosols: a parallel animal and air-liquid interface cell exposure study on spruce and pine smoke.

Part Fibre Toxicol 2020 06 15;17(1):27. Epub 2020 Jun 15.

Department of Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Yliopistonranta 1, P.O.Box 1627, FI-70210, Kuopio, Finland.

Background: Wood combustion emissions have been studied previously either by in vitro or in vivo models using collected particles, yet most studies have neglected gaseous compounds. Furthermore, a more accurate and holistic view of the toxicity of aerosols can be gained with parallel in vitro and in vivo studies using direct exposure methods. Moreover, modern exposure techniques such as air-liquid interface (ALI) exposures enable better assessment of the toxicity of the applied aerosols than, for example, the previous state-of-the-art submerged cell exposure techniques.

Methods: We used three different ALI exposure systems in parallel to study the toxicological effects of spruce and pine combustion emissions in human alveolar epithelial (A549) and murine macrophage (RAW264.7) cell lines. A whole-body mouse inhalation system was also used to expose C57BL/6 J mice to aerosol emissions. Moreover, gaseous and particulate fractions were studied separately in one of the cell exposure systems. After exposure, the cells and animals were measured for various parameters of cytotoxicity, inflammation, genotoxicity, transcriptome and proteome.

Results: We found that diluted (1:15) exposure pine combustion emissions (PM mass 7.7 ± 6.5 mg m, 41 mg MJ) contained, on average, more PM and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) than spruce (PM mass 4.3 ± 5.1 mg m, 26 mg MJ) emissions, which instead showed a higher concentration of inorganic metals in the emission aerosol. Both A549 cells and mice exposed to these emissions showed low levels of inflammation but significantly increased genotoxicity. Gaseous emission compounds produced similar genotoxicity and a higher inflammatory response than the corresponding complete combustion emission in A549 cells. Systems biology approaches supported the findings, but we detected differing responses between in vivo and in vitro experiments.

Conclusions: Comprehensive in vitro and in vivo exposure studies with emission characterization and systems biology approaches revealed further information on the effects of combustion aerosol toxicity than could be achieved with either method alone. Interestingly, in vitro and in vivo exposures showed the opposite order of the highest DNA damage. In vitro measurements also indicated that the gaseous fraction of emission aerosols may be more important in causing adverse toxicological effects. Combustion aerosols of different wood species result in mild but aerosol specific in vitro and in vivo effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12989-020-00355-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7296712PMC
June 2020

Understanding hourly patterns of Olea pollen concentrations as tool for the environmental impact assessment.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Sep 25;736:139363. Epub 2020 May 25.

Department of Botany, Ecology and Plant Physiology, University of Córdoba, Spain.

Bioinformatics clustering application for mining of a large set of olive pollen aerobiological data to describe the daily distribution of Olea pollen concentration. The study was performed with hourly pollen concentrations measured during 8 years (2011-2018) in Extremadura (Spain). Olea pollen season by quartiles of the pollen integral in preseason (Q1: 0%-25%), in-season (Q2 and Q3: 25%-75%) and postseason (Q4: 75%-100%). Days with pollen concentrations above 100 grains/m were clustered according to the daily distribution of the concentrations. The factors affecting the prevalence of the different clusters were analyzed: distance to olive groves and the moment during the pollen season and the meteorology. During the season, the highest hourly concentrations during the day where between 12:00 and 14:00, while during the preseason the highest hourly concentrations were detected in the afternoon and evening hours. In the postseason the pollen concentrations were more homogeneously distributed during 9-16 h. The representation shows a well-defined hourly pattern during the season, but a more heterogeneous distribution during the preseason and postseason. The cluster dendrogram shows that all the days could be clustered in 6 groups: most of the clusters shows the daily peaks between 11:00 and 15:00 with a smooth curve (Cluster 1 and 3) or with a strong peak (2 and 5). Days included in cluster 9 shows an earlier peak in the morning (before 9:00). On the other hand, cluster 6 shows a peak in the afternoon, after 15:00. Hourly concentrations show a sharper pattern during the season, with the peak during the hours close to the emission. Out of the season, when pollen is expected to come from farther distances, the hourly peak is located later from the emission time of the trees. Significant factors for predicting the hourly pattern were wind speed and direction and the distance to the olive groves.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139363DOI Listing
September 2020

Building an automatic pollen monitoring network (ePIN): Selection of optimal sites by clustering pollen stations.

Sci Total Environ 2019 Oct 11;688:1263-1274. Epub 2019 Jun 11.

Center of Allergy & Environment (ZAUM), Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Technische Universität München/Helmholtz Center, Munich, Germany. Electronic address:

Airborne pollen is a recognized biological indicator and its monitoring has multiple uses such as providing a tool for allergy diagnosis and prevention. There is a knowledge gap related to the distribution of pollen traps needed to achieve representative biomonitoring in a region. The aim of this manuscript is to suggest a method for setting up a pollen network (monitoring method, monitoring conditions, number and location of samplers etc.). As a case study, we describe the distribution of pollen across Bavaria and the design of the Bavarian pollen monitoring network (ePIN), the first operational automatic pollen network worldwide. We established and ran a dense pollen monitoring network of 27 manual Hirst-type pollen traps across Bavaria, Germany, during 2015. Hierarchical cluster analysis of the data was then performed to select the locations for the sites of the final pollen monitoring network. According to our method, Bavaria can be clustered into three large pollen regions with eight zones. Within each zone, pollen diversity and distribution among different locations does not vary significantly. Based on the pollen zones, we opted to place one automatic monitoring station per zone resulting in the ePIN network, serving 13 million inhabitants. The described method defines stations representative for a homogeneous aeropalynologically region, which reduces redundancy within the network and subsequent costs (in the study case from 27 to 8 locations). Following this method, resources in pollen monitoring networks can be optimized and allergic citizens can then be informed in a timely and effective way, even in larger geographical areas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.06.131DOI Listing
October 2019

Pollen season is reflected on symptom load for grass and birch pollen-induced allergic rhinitis in different geographic areas-An EAACI Task Force Report.

Allergy 2020 05 1;75(5):1099-1106. Epub 2020 Mar 1.

German Pollen Information Service Foundation, Berlin, Germany.

Background: The effectiveness of allergen immunotherapy (AIT) in seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis (AR) depends on the definition of pollen exposure intensity or time period. We recently evaluated pollen and symptom data from Germany to examine the new definitions of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) on pollen season and peak pollen period start and end. Now, we aim to confirm the feasibility of these definitions to properly mirror symptom loads for grass and birch pollen-induced allergic rhinitis in other European geographical areas such as Austria, Finland and France, and therefore their suitability for AIT and clinical practice support.

Methods: Data from twenty-three pollen monitoring stations from three countries in Europe and for 3 years (2014-2016) were used to investigate the correlation between birch and grass pollen concentrations during the birch and grass pollen season defined via the EAACI criteria, and total nasal symptom and medication scores as reported with the aid of the patient's hay-fever diary (PHD). In addition, we conducted a statistical analysis, together with a graphical investigation, to reveal correlations and dependencies between the studied parameters.

Results: The analysis demonstrated that the definitions of pollen season as well as peak pollen period start and end as proposed by the EAACI are correlated to pollen-induced symptom loads reported by PHD users during birch and grass pollen season. A statistically significant correlation (slightly higher for birch) has been found between the Total Nasal Symptom and Medication Score (TNSMS) and the pollen concentration levels. Moreover, the maximum symptom levels occurred mostly within the peak pollen periods (PPP) following the EAACI criteria.

Conclusions: Based on our analyses, we confirm the validity of the EAACI definitions on pollen season for both birch and grass and for a variety of geographical locations for the four European countries (including Germany from a previous publication) analyzed so far. On this basis, the use of the EAACI definitions is supported in future clinical trials on AIT as well as in daily routine for optimal patient care. Further evaluation of the EAACI criteria in other European regions is recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.14111DOI Listing
May 2020

The role of mobile health technologies in allergy care: An EAACI position paper.

Allergy 2020 02 16;75(2):259-272. Epub 2019 Sep 16.

Transylvania University Brasov, Brasov, Romania.

Mobile health (mHealth) uses mobile communication devices such as smartphones and tablet computers to support and improve health-related services, data and information flow, patient self-management, surveillance, and disease management from the moment of first diagnosis to an optimized treatment. The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology created a task force to assess the state of the art and future potential of mHealth in allergology. The task force endorsed the "Be He@lthy, Be Mobile" WHO initiative and debated the quality, usability, efficiency, advantages, limitations, and risks of mobile solutions for allergic diseases. The results are summarized in this position paper, analyzing also the regulatory background with regard to the "General Data Protection Regulation" and Medical Directives of the European Community. The task force assessed the design, user engagement, content, potential of inducing behavioral change, credibility/accountability, and privacy policies of mHealth products. The perspectives of healthcare professionals and allergic patients are discussed, underlining the need of thorough investigation for an effective design of mHealth technologies as auxiliary tools to improve quality of care. Within the context of precision medicine, these could facilitate the change in perspective from clinician- to patient-centered care. The current and future potential of mHealth is then examined for specific areas of allergology, including allergic rhinitis, aerobiology, allergen immunotherapy, asthma, dermatological diseases, food allergies, anaphylaxis, insect venom, and drug allergy. The impact of mobile technologies and associated big data sets are outlined. Facts and recommendations for future mHealth initiatives within EAACI are listed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.13953DOI Listing
February 2020

Near-ground effect of height on pollen exposure.

Environ Res 2019 07 29;174:160-169. Epub 2019 Apr 29.

Center of Allergy & Environment (ZAUM), Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Technical University and Helmholtz Center Munich, Germany.

The effect of height on pollen concentration is not well documented and little is known about the near-ground vertical profile of airborne pollen. This is important as most measuring stations are on roofs, but patient exposure is at ground level. Our study used a big data approach to estimate the near-ground vertical profile of pollen concentrations based on a global study of paired stations located at different heights. We analyzed paired sampling stations located at different heights between 1.5 and 50 m above ground level (AGL). This provided pollen data from 59 Hirst-type volumetric traps from 25 different areas, mainly in Europe, but also covering North America and Australia, resulting in about 2,000,000 daily pollen concentrations analyzed. The daily ratio of the amounts of pollen from different heights per location was used, and the values of the lower station were divided by the higher station. The lower station of paired traps recorded more pollen than the higher trap. However, while the effect of height on pollen concentration was clear, it was also limited (average ratio 1.3, range 0.7-2.2). The standard deviation of the pollen ratio was highly variable when the lower station was located close to the ground level (below 10 m AGL). We show that pollen concentrations measured at >10 m are representative for background near-ground levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2019.04.027DOI Listing
July 2019

Next-generation pollen monitoring and dissemination.

Allergy 2018 10;73(10):1944-1945

Center of Allergy & Environment (ZAUM), Technical University/Helmholtz Center Munich, Munich, Germany.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.13585DOI Listing
October 2018

Artemisia pollen is the main vector for airborne endotoxin.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2019 01 9;143(1):369-377.e5. Epub 2018 Aug 9.

Center of Allergy & Environment (ZAUM), Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Technical University and Helmholtz Center Munich, Munich, Germany; Christine Kühne-Center for Allergy Research and Education (CK-CARE), Davos, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Background: Endotoxin (LPS) released from gram-negative bacteria causes strong immunologic and inflammatory effects and, when airborne, can contribute to respiratory conditions, such as allergic asthma.

Objectives: We sought to identify the source of airborne endotoxin and the effect of this endotoxin on allergic sensitization.

Methods: We determined LPS levels in outdoor air on a daily basis for 4 consecutive years in Munich (Germany) and Davos (Switzerland). Air was sampled as particulate matter (PM) greater than 10 μm (PM > 10) and PM between 2.5 and 10 μm. LPS levels were determined by using the recombinant Factor C assay.

Results: More than 60% of the annual endotoxin exposure was detected in the PM > 10 fraction, showing that bacteria do not aerosolize as independent units or aggregates but adhered to large particles. In Munich 70% of annual exposure was detected between June 12th and August 28th. Multivariate modeling showed that endotoxin levels could be explained by phenological parameters (ie, plant growth). Indeed, days with high airborne endotoxin levels correlated well with the amount of Artemisia pollen in the air. Pollen collected from plants across Europe (100 locations) showed that the highest levels of endotoxin were detected on Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort) pollen, with little on other pollen. Microbiome analysis showed that LPS concentrations on mugwort pollen were related to the presence of Pseudomonas species and Pantoea species communities. In a mouse model of allergic disease, the presence of LPS on mugwort pollen was needed for allergic sensitization.

Conclusions: The majority of airborne endotoxin stems from bacteria dispersed with pollen of only one plant: mugwort. This LPS was essential for inducing inflammation of the lung and allergic sensitization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2018.05.040DOI Listing
January 2019

Cytochrome P450s in human immune cells regulate IL-22 and c-Kit via an AHR feedback loop.

Sci Rep 2017 03 9;7:44005. Epub 2017 Mar 9.

Center of Allergy &Environment (ZAUM), Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Technische Universität München/Helmholtz Center, Munich, Germany.

The mechanisms how environmental compounds influence the human immune system are unknown. The environmentally sensitive transcription factor aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) has immune-modulating functions and responds to small molecules. Cytochrome P4501 enzymes (CYP1) act downstream of the AHR and metabolize small molecules. However, it is currently unknown whether CYP1 activity is relevant for immune modulation. We studied the interdependence of CYP1 and AHR in human primary immune cells using pharmacological methods. CYP1 inhibition increased the expression levels of the stem cell factor receptor (c-Kit) and interleukin (IL)-22 but decreased IL-17. Single cell analyses showed that CYP1 inhibition especially promoted CD4 helper T (Th) cells that co-express c-Kit and IL-22 simultaneously. The addition of an AHR antagonist reversed all these effects. In addition to T cells, we screened other human immune cells for CYP and found cell-specific fingerprints, suggesting that similar mechanisms are present in multiple immune cells. We describe a feedback loop yet unknown in human immune cells where CYP1 inhibition resulted in an altered AHR-dependent immune response. This mechanism relates CYP1-dependent metabolism of environmental small molecules to human immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep44005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5343665PMC
March 2017

A minimal-invasive method for systemic bio-monitoring of the environmental pollutant phenanthrene in humans: Thermal extraction and gas chromatography - mass spectrometry from 1 mL capillary blood.

J Chromatogr A 2017 Mar 25;1487:254-257. Epub 2017 Jan 25.

Research Unit Medical Radiation Physics and Diagnostics, Helmholtz Center Munich, Neuherberg, D-85764, Germany. Electronic address:

Phenanthrene is present in numerous environmental media and serves as a model substrate for the biomonitoring of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH). PAH exposure studies are commonly focused on urinary metabolites, concentrations of which are dependent on absorption, biotransformation and excretion. Monitoring of unmetabolized PAHs in blood would allow more reliable exposure assessment, but requires invasive sampling and extensive sample preparation. We describe the analysis of phenanthrene in 1μL capillary blood using thermal extraction (TE) combined with gas chromatography - mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Less invasive sampling of 1μL capillary blood does not require the assistance of medical staff. Compared to previous studies, analysis time was improved significantly by TE due to minimization of sample preparation steps. The evaluate method was applied successfully to the monitoring of phenanthrene blood levels. This is the first report presenting the pharmacokinetics of unmetabolized PAHs in human.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chroma.2017.01.045DOI Listing
March 2017

Chromium(VI) Contact Dermatitis: Getting Closer to Understanding the Underlying Mechanisms of Toxicity and Sensitization!

J Invest Dermatol 2017 02;137(2):274-277

Department of Dermatology and Allergology, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany.

Various haptens trigger innate immune pathways and/or induce cytotoxicity as a part of sensitization. Adam et al. decipher in vitro the mechanisms by which chromium(VI) induces inflammation, the likely prerequisites for toxicity, sensitization, and allergic contact dermatitis against chromium(VI). Importantly, and in line with other observations, chromium(VI), but not chromium(III) (or Ni(II)), induces mitochondrial reactive oxygen species accumulation. Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species in turn activate the NLRP3 inflammasome, allowing increased IL-1β processing and secretion, which likely underlies both chromium(VI)-induced cutaneous toxicity and sensitization. Interrupting this mechanism, perhaps with reducing agents or inhibitors of the NLRP3/IL-1 axis, may be a new option to prevent occupational chromium toxicity and allergy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jid.2016.11.015DOI Listing
February 2017

Metabolic Profiling as Well as Stable Isotope Assisted Metabolic and Proteomic Analysis of RAW 264.7 Macrophages Exposed to Ship Engine Aerosol Emissions: Different Effects of Heavy Fuel Oil and Refined Diesel Fuel.

PLoS One 2016 27;11(6):e0157964. Epub 2016 Jun 27.

Joint Mass Spectrometry Centre, Division of Analytical and Technical Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry, University Rostock, Rostock, Germany.

Exposure to air pollution resulting from fossil fuel combustion has been linked to multiple short-term and long term health effects. In a previous study, exposure of lung epithelial cells to engine exhaust from heavy fuel oil (HFO) and diesel fuel (DF), two of the main fuels used in marine engines, led to an increased regulation of several pathways associated with adverse cellular effects, including pro-inflammatory pathways. In addition, DF exhaust exposure was shown to have a wider response on multiple cellular regulatory levels compared to HFO emissions, suggesting a potentially higher toxicity of DF emissions over HFO. In order to further understand these effects, as well as to validate these findings in another cell line, we investigated macrophages under the same conditions as a more inflammation-relevant model. An air-liquid interface aerosol exposure system was used to provide a more biologically relevant exposure system compared to submerged experiments, with cells exposed to either the complete aerosol (particle and gas phase), or the gas phase only (with particles filtered out). Data from cytotoxicity assays were integrated with metabolomics and proteomics analyses, including stable isotope-assisted metabolomics, in order to uncover pathways affected by combustion aerosol exposure in macrophages. Through this approach, we determined differing phenotypic effects associated with the different components of aerosol. The particle phase of diluted combustion aerosols was found to induce increased cell death in macrophages, while the gas phase was found more to affect the metabolic profile. In particular, a higher cytotoxicity of DF aerosol emission was observed in relation to the HFO aerosol. Furthermore, macrophage exposure to the gas phase of HFO leads to an induction of a pro-inflammatory metabolic and proteomic phenotype. These results validate the effects found in lung epithelial cells, confirming the role of inflammation and cellular stress in the response to combustion aerosols.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0157964PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4922672PMC
July 2017

First comparison of symptom data with allergen content (Bet v 1 and Phl p 5 measurements) and pollen data from four European regions during 2009-2011.

Sci Total Environ 2016 Apr 21;548-549:229-235. Epub 2016 Jan 21.

University Department of Ear, Nose and Throat Diseases, Medizinische Universität Wien, Austria.

Background: The level of symptoms in pollen allergy sufferers and users of the Patient's Hayfever Diary (PHD), does not directly reflect the total amount of pollen in the air. It is necessary to explain the symptom load and thus the development of allergic symptoms and to determine which environmental factors, besides the pollen load, influence variables. It seems reasonable to suspect allergen content because the amount of allergen varies throughout seasons and regions and is not always correlated with the total pollen amount.

Methods: Data on the allergen content of ambient air (Bet v 1 and Phl p 5) from 2009 until 2011 was used to compare the respective pollen and symptom loads for study regions in Austria, Germany, France and Finland.

Results: Our findings suggest that allergen amount (Bet v 1/Phl p 5) has a strong but regionally dependent impact on the symptom load of pollen allergy sufferers. Peak symptom loads can be traced with peak allergen loads. The influence of other important aeroallergens should also be assessed during the pollen season.

Conclusion: Allergen concentrations have an impact on pollen allergy sufferers although not as clear as assumed previously. The pattern of pollen load and major allergen content distribution does not directly explain the symptom load pattern, although significant positive correlations were found. Thus, monitoring of symptoms via voluntary crowdsourcing should be considered for future pollen and symptom forecasts in order to support pollen allergy sufferers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.01.014DOI Listing
April 2016

Automatic and Online Pollen Monitoring.

Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2015 19;167(3):158-66. Epub 2015 Aug 19.

ZAUM, Center of Allergy & Environment, Helmholtz Zentrum Mx00FC;nchen, Technische Universitx00E4;t Mx00FC;nchen, Munich, Germany.

Background: Pollen are monitored in Europe by a network of about 400 pollen traps, all operated manually. To date, automated pollen monitoring has only been feasible in areas with limited variability in pollen species. There is a need for rapid reporting of airborne pollen as well as for alleviating the workload of manual operation. We report our experience with a fully automated, image recognition-based pollen monitoring system, BAA500.

Methods: The BAA500 sampled ambient air intermittently with a 3-stage virtual impactor at 60 m3/h in Munich, Germany. Pollen is deposited on a sticky surface that was regularly moved to a microscope equipped with a CCD camera. Images of the pollen were constructed and compared with a library of known samples. A Hirst-type pollen trap was operated simultaneously.

Results: Over 480,000 particles sampled with the BAA500 were both manually and automatically identified, of which about 46,000 were pollen. Of the automatically reported pollen, 93.3% were correctly recognized. However, compared with manual identification, 27.8% of the captured pollen were missing in the automatic report, with most reported as unknown pollen. Salix pollen grains were not identified satisfactorily. The daily pollen concentrations reported by a Hirst-type pollen trap and the BAA500 were highly correlated (r = 0.98).

Conclusions: The BAA500 is a functional automated pollen counter. Its software can be upgraded, and so we expected its performance to improve upon training. Automated pollen counting has great potential for workload reduction and rapid online pollen reporting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000436968DOI Listing
November 2015

Meteorological conditions, climate change, new emerging factors, and asthma and related allergic disorders. A statement of the World Allergy Organization.

World Allergy Organ J 2015 14;8(1):25. Epub 2015 Jul 14.

Epidemiology of Respiratory and Allergic Disease Department (EPAR), Institute Pierre Louis of Epidemiology and Public Health, UMR-S 1136, INSERM, Paris, France ; UPMC, Sorbonne Universités, Medical School Saint-Antoine, 803-804-806, 8 etage/Floor 27, Rue Chaligny, CEDEX 12, 75571 Paris, France.

The prevalence of allergic airway diseases such as asthma and rhinitis has increased dramatically to epidemic proportions worldwide. Besides air pollution from industry derived emissions and motor vehicles, the rising trend can only be explained by gross changes in the environments where we live. The world economy has been transformed over the last 25 years with developing countries being at the core of these changes. Around the planet, in both developed and developing countries, environments are undergoing profound changes. Many of these changes are considered to have negative effects on respiratory health and to enhance the frequency and severity of respiratory diseases such as asthma in the general population. Increased concentrations of greenhouse gases, and especially carbon dioxide (CO2), in the atmosphere have already warmed the planet substantially, causing more severe and prolonged heat waves, variability in temperature, increased air pollution, forest fires, droughts, and floods - all of which can put the respiratory health of the public at risk. These changes in climate and air quality have a measurable impact not only on the morbidity but also the mortality of patients with asthma and other respiratory diseases. The massive increase in emissions of air pollutants due to economic and industrial growth in the last century has made air quality an environmental problem of the first order in a large number of regions of the world. A body of evidence suggests that major changes to our world are occurring and involve the atmosphere and its associated climate. These changes, including global warming induced by human activity, have an impact on the biosphere, biodiversity, and the human environment. Mitigating this huge health impact and reversing the effects of these changes are major challenges. This statement of the World Allergy Organization (WAO) raises the importance of this health hazard and highlights the facts on climate-related health impacts, including: deaths and acute morbidity due to heat waves and extreme meteorological events; increased frequency of acute cardio-respiratory events due to higher concentrations of ground level ozone; changes in the frequency of respiratory diseases due to trans-boundary particle pollution; altered spatial and temporal distribution of allergens (pollens, molds, and mites); and some infectious disease vectors. According to this report, these impacts will not only affect those with current asthma but also increase the incidence and prevalence of allergic respiratory conditions and of asthma. The effects of climate change on respiratory allergy are still not well defined, and more studies addressing this topic are needed. Global warming is expected to affect the start, duration, and intensity of the pollen season on the one hand, and the rate of asthma exacerbations due to air pollution, respiratory infections, and/or cold air inhalation, and other conditions on the other hand.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40413-015-0073-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4499913PMC
July 2015

Particulate matter from both heavy fuel oil and diesel fuel shipping emissions show strong biological effects on human lung cells at realistic and comparable in vitro exposure conditions.

PLoS One 2015 3;10(6):e0126536. Epub 2015 Jun 3.

HICE-Helmholtz Virtual Institute of Complex Molecular Systems in Environmental Health-Aerosols and Health, www.hice-vi.eu, Neuherberg, Rostock, Munich, Karlsruhe, Berlin, Waldkirch, Germany, Kuopio, Finland, Cardiff, UK, Esch-Belval, Luxembourg; Joint Mass Spectrometry Centre, Chair of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry, University Rostock, Rostock, Germany; Joint Mass Spectrometry Centre, CMA-Comprehensive Molecular Analytics, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Neuherberg, Germany.

Background: Ship engine emissions are important with regard to lung and cardiovascular diseases especially in coastal regions worldwide. Known cellular responses to combustion particles include oxidative stress and inflammatory signalling.

Objectives: To provide a molecular link between the chemical and physical characteristics of ship emission particles and the cellular responses they elicit and to identify potentially harmful fractions in shipping emission aerosols.

Methods: Through an air-liquid interface exposure system, we exposed human lung cells under realistic in vitro conditions to exhaust fumes from a ship engine running on either common heavy fuel oil (HFO) or cleaner-burning diesel fuel (DF). Advanced chemical analyses of the exhaust aerosols were combined with transcriptional, proteomic and metabolomic profiling including isotope labelling methods to characterise the lung cell responses.

Results: The HFO emissions contained high concentrations of toxic compounds such as metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, and were higher in particle mass. These compounds were lower in DF emissions, which in turn had higher concentrations of elemental carbon ("soot"). Common cellular reactions included cellular stress responses and endocytosis. Reactions to HFO emissions were dominated by oxidative stress and inflammatory responses, whereas DF emissions induced generally a broader biological response than HFO emissions and affected essential cellular pathways such as energy metabolism, protein synthesis, and chromatin modification.

Conclusions: Despite a lower content of known toxic compounds, combustion particles from the clean shipping fuel DF influenced several essential pathways of lung cell metabolism more strongly than particles from the unrefined fuel HFO. This might be attributable to a higher soot content in DF. Thus the role of diesel soot, which is a known carcinogen in acute air pollution-induced health effects should be further investigated. For the use of HFO and DF we recommend a reduction of carbonaceous soot in the ship emissions by implementation of filtration devices.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0126536PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4454644PMC
February 2016

Variation of the group 5 grass pollen allergen content of airborne pollen in relation to geographic location and time in season.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2015 Jul 6;136(1):87-95.e6. Epub 2015 May 6.

Interdepartmental Centre of Bioclimatology, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.

Background: Allergies to grass pollen are the number one cause of outdoor hay fever. The human immune system reacts with symptoms to allergen from pollen.

Objective: We investigated the natural variability in release of the major group 5 allergen from grass pollen across Europe.

Methods: Airborne pollen and allergens were simultaneously collected daily with a volumetric spore trap and a high-volume cascade impactor at 10 sites across Europe for 3 consecutive years. Group 5 allergen levels were determined with a Phl p 5-specific ELISA in 2 fractions of ambient air: particulate matter of greater than 10 μm in diameter and particulate matter greater than 2.5 μm and less than 10 μm in diameter. Mediator release by ambient air was determined in FcεRI-humanized basophils. The origin of pollen was modeled and condensed to pollen potency maps.

Results: On average, grass pollen released 2.3 pg of Phl p 5 per pollen. Allergen release per pollen (potency) varied substantially, ranging from less than 1 to 9 pg of Phl p 5 per pollen (5% to 95% percentile). The main variation was locally day to day. Average potency maps across Europe varied between years. Mediator release from basophilic granulocytes correlated better with allergen levels per cubic meter (r(2) = 0.80, P < .001) than with pollen grains per cubic meter (r(2) = 0.61, P < .001). In addition, pollen released different amounts of allergen in the non-pollen-bearing fraction of ambient air, depending on humidity.

Conclusion: Across Europe, the same amount of pollen released substantially different amounts of group 5 grass pollen allergen. This variation in allergen release is in addition to variations in pollen counts. Molecular aerobiology (ie, determining allergen in ambient air) might be a valuable addition to pollen counting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2015.01.049DOI Listing
July 2015

(ragweed) in Germany - current presence, allergological relevance and containment procedures.

Allergo J Int 2015;24:108-120. Epub 2015 Jul 11.

Foundation German Pollen Information Service, Berlin, Germany.

(ragweed) is a neophyte in Europe and Germany, which originated from the United States of America. In the USA the rate of sensitization against ragweed equals that of grass pollen, and without containment the rate of allergic sensitizations against ragweed pollen will clearly increase. Currently, the most frequent sensitizations in Germany are against grass pollen, followed by sensitizations against house dust mite and birch pollen. Ragweed pollen evokes symptoms at about 10 pollen/m3, grass pollen at about 15 pollen/m3. These concentrations of ragweed pollen are only reached on limited occasions in Germany. Ragweed cross-reacts with mugwort () and a correct diagnosis is only feasible with the ragweed specific allergen Amb a 1. Due to cross reactivity with mugwort, new sensitizations against ragweed pollen are not needed to evoke allergic symptoms. The neophyte encounters an already mugwort-sensitized population, extends the pollen season and may provoke new sensitizations. Ragweed sensitizations are characterized by an increased tendency to also affect the lower airways, which is less with mugwort sensitizations. Thus containment of ragweed is needed. Ragweed seeds are imported or spread by contaminated bird feed, the transport of ragweed contaminated soil (also in tyre treads) and agricultural products from infested areas. States bordering on ragweed positive areas, like Brandenburg and Bavaria, are especially at risk and invasion is already underway. Ragweed seeds survive up to 40 years in soil, and so extended timescales for eradication and observations are needed. Germany is, compared to other countries like France (Rhone-Valley), Italy (Po-Valley), Ukraine and Hungary, limited in respect to ragweed infestation. Conditions in Germany are therefore favourable for the containment of ragweed. Switzerland implemented legislation against birdseed contamination by ragweed early during the plants expansion, and obligatory ragweed registration- and eradication showed that ragweed containment is possible. Without counter measures ragweed expansion in Germany will take place, resulting in more allergic disease. Considering the increasing number of allergic individuals, even without ragweed invasion, containment of the neophyte should be actively persued. Unfortunately, time is running out.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40629-015-0060-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4861741PMC
July 2015

Optimizing of the basophil activation test: Comparison of different basophil identification markers.

Cytometry B Clin Cytom 2015 May-Jun;88(3):183-9. Epub 2014 Nov 17.

Department of Dermatology and Allergy Biederstein, Technische Universität München, Germany, Munich, Germany.

Background: Flowcytometric identification of basophils is a prerequisite for measuring activation of basophils with IgE-dependent or IgE-independent stimuli. Aim of this study was to compare different marker combinations in a simultaneous multicolor flowcytometric measurement.

Methods: Ten patients with a grass pollen allergy and three controls were included in the study. Basophilic cells were gated by using anti-CCR3, anti-IgE, anti-CRTH2, anti-CD203c, and anti-CD3. Cells were activated by a monoclonal anti-FcεRI antibody, N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP), and the allergen extract Phleum pratense. The activation marker anti-CD63 was used.

Results: The highest relative number of basophils was found with anti-CCR3+ cells, anti-IgE+ and anti-IgE+ /anti-CD203c+ cells, the lowest with CRTH2+/CD203c+/CD3- cells. A very good and good concordance of CCR3+ cells was seen with CCR3+/CD3- cells and CRTH2+/CD203c+/CD3- cells in all experiments. The contamination of the CCR3+ population with CD3+ cells and the contamination of the IgE+-population with CCR3- cells and CD203- cells were the lowest compared to all other marker combinations.

Conclusions: As the highest relative number of basophils was identified by anti-CCR3 followed by the anti-IgE and anti-IgE/antiCD203c positive population in most cases, these markers can generally be recommended for identification of basophils. If a basophil population with very high purity is needed, anti-IgE should be chosen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cyto.b.21203DOI Listing
January 2016

Optimizing of the basophil activation test: Comparison of different basophil identification markers.

Cytometry B Clin Cytom 2014 Nov 8. Epub 2014 Nov 8.

Department of Dermatology and Allergy Biederstein, Technische Universität München, Germany, Munich.

Background Flowcytometric identification of basophils is a prerequisite for measuring activation of basophils with IgE-dependent or IgE-independent stimuli. Aim of this study was to compare different marker combinations in a simultaneous multicolor flowcytometric measurement. Methods Ten patients with a grass pollen allergy and 3 controls were included in the study. Basophilic cells were gated by using anti-CCR3647, anti-IgE, anti-CRTH2, anti-CD203c und anti-CD3. Cells were activated by a monoclonal anti-FcεRI antibody, N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP) and the allergen extract Phleum pratense. The activation marker anti-CD63 was used. Results The highest relative number of basophils was found with anti-CCR3 cells, anti-IgE and anti-IgE /anti-CD203c cells, the lowest with CRTH2 /CD203c /CD3 cells. A very good and good concordance of CCR3 cells was seen with CCR3 /CD3 cells and CRTH2 /CD203c /CD3 cells in all experiments. The contamination of the CCR3 population with CD3 cells and the contamination of the IgE -population with CCR3 cells and CD203 cells were the lowest compared to all other marker combinations. Conclusions As the highest relative number of basophils was identified by anti-CD193 (CCR3) followed by the anti-IgE and anti-IgE/antiCD203c positive population in most cases, these markers can generally be recommended for identification of basophils. If a basophil population with very high purity is needed, anti-IgE should be chosen. © 2014 Clinical Cytometry Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cytob.21203DOI Listing
November 2014

Environmental pollution and allergy: historical aspects.

Chem Immunol Allergy 2014 22;100:268-77. Epub 2014 May 22.

Center for Allergy and Environment (ZAUM), Munich, Germany.

It may be a coincidence, but it is a fact that the first clear characterization of hay fever began in England where modern industrialization started in Europe. Only at the end of the 20th century were associations of the increasing prevalence of allergy with outdoor air pollution discussed. The seminal study came from Japan from the group of T. Miyamoto linking the increase in Japanese cedar pollinosis to an increased prevalence of Diesel cars and probably exposure to Diesel exhaust in epidemiological, animal experimental and in vitro studies. In Germany first epidemiological studies were done in North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria in 1987 and 1988 showing a striking prevalence of allergic disease of up to 10-20% in preschool children. After German reunification the most surprising observation was a lower prevalence of hay fever in East German children compared to the West, although there was a much higher air pollution with SO2 and large particulate matter. Modern smog as found over West German cities most likely originating from traffic exhaust and consisting of fine and ultrafine particles was shown to be associated with higher incidence rates of allergy and allergic sensitization. In the 10 years after reunification there was a steep increase of allergy prevalence in East German children reaching almost the same level as in West Germany. Obviously, a multitude of lifestyle factors - beyond air pollution - may be involved in the explanation of this phenomenon. Surprisingly the skin manifestation of atopy, namely atopic eczema, was more frequent in East German children compared to the West, thus differing from airway allergy. Meanwhile in vitro studies and animal experiments have shown that a variety of air pollutants mostly from environmental tobacco smoke (indoors) and from traffic exhaust (outdoors) can stimulate immune cells inducing a Th2-dominated response besides their irritative effects. While 50 years ago in allergy textbooks a clear distinction was made between 'toxic' or 'allergic', the newly developed concept of allergotoxicology has stimulated research tremendously, meaning 'the investigation of effects of toxic substances upon the induction, elicitation and maintenance of allergic reactions'.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000359918DOI Listing
April 2015

The macroecology of airborne pollen in Australian and New Zealand urban areas.

PLoS One 2014 29;9(5):e97925. Epub 2014 May 29.

Lung and Allergy Research Centre, School of Medicine, and Translational Research Institute, The University of Queensland, Woolloongabba, Queensland, Australia.

The composition and relative abundance of airborne pollen in urban areas of Australia and New Zealand are strongly influenced by geographical location, climate and land use. There is mounting evidence that the diversity and quality of airborne pollen is substantially modified by climate change and land-use yet there are insufficient data to project the future nature of these changes. Our study highlights the need for long-term aerobiological monitoring in Australian and New Zealand urban areas in a systematic, standardised, and sustained way, and provides a framework for targeting the most clinically significant taxa in terms of abundance, allergenic effects and public health burden.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0097925PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4038531PMC
January 2015