Journal List > Allergy Asthma Respir Dis > v.4(6) > 1059218

Park, Shim, Cho, Myoung, Lee, Kwon, Lee, Park, Jeong, and Lee: Sensitization to animal allergens and allergic symptoms during exposure to them in Korean veterinary researchers

Abstract

Purpose

Veterinary researchers are exposed to variable animal allergens. However, sensitization to them and allergic symptoms during exposure to them in this group are not sufficiently evaluated worldwide, especially in Korea. The objective of this study is to evaluate sensitization to animal allergens and allergic symptoms during exposure to them in Korean veterinary researchers.

Methods

Thirty-two veterinary researchers who participated in the 2016 annual symposium of the Korean Society of Veterinary Science were asked to answer questionnaires regarding allergic symptoms during animal exposure and underwent skin prick tests for animal allergens. Animal allergens consisted of chicken feather and 10 mammals, epithelia as well as cow's milk, hen's egg, and 7 animal types of meat.

Results

There were 13 subjects who complained of allergic symptoms during exposure to certain animal epithelia and 19 who did not. Between the 2 groups, there were no differences in age, sex, underlying allergic disease, family history of allergy, current occupation and its duration, numbers and specie of contact animals, or daily contact time. Meanwhile, the sensitization rates to mouse, horse, rabbit, and guinea pig were significantly higher in the symptomatic group. Rhinoconjunctivitis symptoms were the most common allergic symptoms related to animal exposure were most common followed by dermatologic symptom, and symptom of lower respiratory tract.

Conclusion

We found that sensitizations to some animal epithelia were more frequent in Korean veterinary researchers with allergic symptoms during exposure to animal compared to those without it, and their most common symptoms were rhinoconjunctivitis symptoms.

Figures and Tables

Table 1

Demographic and occupational characteristics of study subjects

aard-4-406-i001
Variable Whole subjects (n = 32) Asymptomatic subjects (n = 19) Symptomatic subjects (n = 13) P-value
Age (yr) 29.5 (22–61) 30 (22–57) 29 (24–61) 0.429
Male sex 21 (65.6) 10 (52.6) 11 (84.6) 0.066
Underlying allergic diseases 17 (53.1) 9 (47.3) 8 (61.5) 0.335
 Allergic rhinitis 10 (31.2) 6 (31.5) 4 (30.7) 0.636
 Food allergy 5 (15.6) 2 (10.5) 3 (23.0) 0.317
 Asthma 2 (6.2) 0 (0) 2 (15.3) 0.157
 Atopic dermatitis 3 (9.4) 2 (10.5) 1 (7.6) 0.644
 Urticaria 1 (3.1) 0 (0) 1 (7.6) 0.594
Family history of allergic disease 13 (40.6) 7 (36.8) 6 (46.1) 0.435
 Allergic rhinitis 7 (21.9) 3 (15.7) 4 (30.7) 0.281
 Food allergy 3 (9.4) 2 (10.5) 1 (7.6) 0.644
 Atopic dermatitis 3 (9.4) 3 (15.7) 0 (0) 0.195
 Asthma 2 (6.2) 1 (5.2) 1 (7.6) 0.655
 Drug allergy 1 (3.1) 1 (5.2) 0 (0) 0.594
Contacted animal
 Mouse 21 (65.6) 14 (73.6) 7 (53.8) 0.217
 Dog 15 (46.9) 8 (42.1) 7 (53.8) 0.385
 Cat 8 (25) 3 (15.7) 5 (38.4) 0.150
 Rat 12 (37.5) 7 (36.8) 5 (38.4) 0.607
 Rabbit 3 (9.4) 1 (5.2) 2 (15.3) 0.356
 Cow 3 (9.4) 2 (10.5) 1 (7.6) 0.644
 Pig 4 (12.5) 1 (5.2) 3 (23.0) 0.171
 Guinea pig 3 (9.4) 1 (5.2) 2 (15.3) 0.356
 Hamster 2 (6.2) 0 (0) 2 (15.3) 0.157
 Horse 1 (3.1) 1 (5.2) 0 (0) 0.594
 Chicken 2 (6.2) 1 (5.2) 1 (7.6) 0.655
 Hedgehog 2 (6.2) 1 (5.2) 1 (7.6) 0.655
 Carp & top minnow 1 (3.1) 0 (0) 1 (7.6) 0.406
 Number of species 2 (1–7) 2 (1–4) 2 (1–7) 0.383
 Duration of animal contact (hr/day) 1 (0.5–24) 1 (0.5–24) 2 (1–8) 0.641
 Duration of current occupation (mo) 54 (2–480) 60 (3–360) 48 (2–480) 0.426
Result of skin prick test for animal allergens
 No. of positive epithelium or feather allergens 18 (56.3) 9 (42.1) 10 (76.9) 0.031*
 No. of positive meat or other animal food allergens 9 (28.1) 2 (10.5) 7 (53.8) 0.003*
 No. of positive animal allergens 18 (56.3) 8 (42.1) 10 (76.9) 0.074

Values are presented as median (range) or number (%).

*P<0.05.

Table 2

The result of skin prick test for animal allergens according to occurrence of allergic symptom during animal exposure

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Animal allergen Asymptomatic subjects (n = 19), positivity Symptomatic subjects (n = 13), positivity P-value
0 +1 +2 +3 +4 ≥ +1 0 +1 +2 +3 +4 ≥ +1
Mouse 15 (78.9) 3 (15.8) 1 (5.3) 0 (0) 0 (0) 4 (21.0) 6 (46.1) 0 (0) 6 (46.1) 1 (7.7) 0 (0) 7 (53.8) 0.006*
Rat 16 (84.2) 1 (5.3) 2 (10.5) 0 (0) 0 (0) 3 (15.7) 7 (53.8) 1 (7.7) 4 (30.8) 1 (7.7) 0 (0) 6 (46.1) 0.185
Dog 16 (84.2) 1 (5.3) 2 (10.5) 0 (0) 0 (0) 3 (15.7) 8 (61.5) 1 (7.7) 3 (23.1) 1 (7.7) 0 (0) 5 (38.5) 0.423
Cat 18 (94.7) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (5.3) 0 (0) 1 (5.3) 9 (69.2) 2 (15.4) 1 (7.7) 0 (0) 1 (7.7) 4 (30.8) 0.047*
Hamster 18 (94.7) 0 (0) 1 (5.3) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (5.3) 9 (69.2) 1 (7.7) 3 (23.1) 0 (0) 0 (0) 4 (30.8) 0.124
Horse 19 (100) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 7 (53.8) 0 (0) 5 (38.5) 1 (7.7) 0 (0) 6 (46.1) 0.002*
Rabbit 19 (100) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 8 (61.5) 0 (0) 3 (23.1) 2 (15.4) 0 (0) 5 (38.5) 0.006*
Guinea pig 19 (100) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 9 (69.2) 2 (15.4) 2 (15.4) 0 (0) 0 (0) 4 (30.8) 0.020*
Cow 19 (100) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 10 (76.9) 1 (7.7) 2 (15.4) 0 (0) 0 (0) 3 (23.1) 0.058
Chicken 17 (89.5) 2 (10.5) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 2 (10.5) 12 (92.3) 0 (0) 1 (7.7) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (7.7) 0.307
Pig 19 (100) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 11 (84.6) 0 (0) 2 (15.4) 0 (0) 0 (0) 2 (15.4) 0.157
Cow's milk 17 (89.5) 1 (5.3) 1 (5.3) 0 (0) 0 (0) 2 (10.5) 11 (84.6) 2 (15.4) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 2 (15.4) 0.737
Pork 19 (100) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 10 (76.9) 3 (23.1) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 3 (23.1) 0.058
Mutton 18 (94.7) 0 (0) 1 (5.3) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (5.3) 11 (84.6) 1 (7.7) 1 (7.7) 0 (0) 0 (0) 2 (15.4) 0.701
Goose 18 (94.7) 1 (5.3) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (5.3) 12 (92.3) 0 (0) 1 (7.7) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (7.7) 0.655
Turkey 19 (100) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 12 (92.3) 1 (7.7) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (7.7) 0.406
Hen's egg 19 (100) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 12 (92.3) 1 (7.7) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (7.7) 0.406
Beef 19 (100) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 12 (92.3) 1 (7.7) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (7.7) 0.406
Chicken 19 (100) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 13 (100) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1.000
Duck 19 (100) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 13 (100) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1.000

Values are presented as number (%).

*P<0.05.

Table 3

The result of skin prick test for animal allergens according to exposure to each animal

aard-4-406-i003
Animal allergen Subjects not exposed to each animal, positivity Subjects exposed to each animal, positivity P-value
0 +1 +2 +3 +4 0 +1 +2 +3 +4
Cat 19 (95.0) 1 (5.0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 8* (66.7) 1 (8.3)* 1* (8.3) 1 (8.3) 1* (8.3) 0.211
Dog 12 (80.0) 1 (6.7) 2 (13.3) 0 (0) 0 (0) 12* (70.6) 1 (5.9) 3* (17.6) 1* (5.9) 0 (0) 0.782
Mouse 7 (58.3) 1 (8.3) 4 (33.3) 0 (0) 0 (0) 14* (70.0) 2 (10.0) 3* (15.0) 1* (5.0) 0 (0) 0.587
Rat 13 (65.0) 2 (10.0) 4 (20.0) 1 (5.0) 0 (0) 10 (83.3) 0 (0) 2 (16.7) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0.805
Hamster 26 (86.7) 1 (3.3) 3 (10.0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1* (50.0) 0 (0) 1 (50.0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0.251
Guinea pig 26 (89.7) 2 (6.9) 1 (3.4) 0 (0) 0 (0) 2 (66.7) 0 (0) 1* (33.3) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0.119
Rabbit 25 (86.2) 0 (0) 3 (10.3) 1 (3.4) 0 (0) 2 (66.7) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1* (33.3) 0 (0) 0.115
Pig 27 (93.1) 0 (0) 2 (6.9) 0 (0) 0 (0) 3* (100) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0.819
Cow 25 (89.3) 1 (3.6) 2 (7.1) 0 (0) 0 (0) 4 (100) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0.789
Horse 25 (83.3) 0 (0) 4 (13.3) 1 (3.3) 0 (0) 1 (50.0) 0 (0) 1 (50.0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0.380
Chicken 27 (90.0) 2 (6.7) 1 (3.3) 0 (0) 0 (0) 2 (100) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0.896

Values are presented as number (%).

*Number indicates number of subjects who experienced allergic symptom during exposure to each allergen.

Table 4

Allergic symptoms during contact with animals and results of skin prick test for animal allergens in symptomatic group

aard-4-406-i004
Subject No. Causal animal Symptom Results of skin prick test for epithelia or feather (positive) Results of skin prick test for meats or other food (positive)
1 Mouse Rhinorrhea, sneezing, dyspnea, wheezing, cough, sputum Mouse (2), rat (3), hamster (2), guinea pig (1), dog (1), cow (1), pig (1), horse (2) Beef (1), pork (1), horse (2)
2 Mouse Conjuctival injection/edema, tears, rhinorrhea, sneezing, nasal obstruction, nasal itching, skin rash with itching Mouse (2), dog (2) Turkey (1)
3 Mouse Conjuctival injection/edema, sneezing Mouse (3), rat (2), hamster (2), rabbit (2), horse (2) Horse (2)
4 Mouse Soft palate/ear itching, chest discomfort None None
5 Cat Skin rash with itching Mouse (2), rat (2) Cow's milk (1), hen's egg (1)
6 Cat Conjunctival injection/edema, eye itching/burning, skin rash with itching, urticaria Rabbit (2), cat (1) Horse (2)
7 Cat Conjunctival injection, tears, eye itching/burning, rhinorrhea, sneezing, nose itching, skin itching Mouse (2), hamster (2), guinea pig (2), rabbit (3), dog (3), cat (2), cow (2), pig (2), chicken (2) Pork (1), mutton (2), horse (3)
Dog Conjunctival injection, tears, eye itching/burning, rhinorrhea, sneezing, postnasal drip, skin itching
8 Cat Eye itching, rhinorrhea, sneezing Mouse (2), rat (2), hamster (1), guinea pig (1), rabbit (2), dog (2), cat (4), cow (1), Pork (1), mutton (1), horse (2)
Dog Eye itching, rhinorrhea, sneezing
9 Dog Conjunctival injection, eye itching, nasal obstruction, skin itching None None
Carp Conjunctival injection, eye itching, skin itching
10 Guinea pig Conjunctival injection/edema, tears, eye itching/burning, rhinorrhea, sneezing, nasal obstruction, postnasal drip, nose/palate/ear itching, cough Rat (1), guinea pig (2), cat (1), cow (2), pig (2) Cow's milk (1)
11 Rabbit Rhinnorhea, sneezing, nasal obstruction Rabbit (3), dog (2) Horse (2), goose (2)
12 Sheep Rhinorrhea None None
13 Pig Skin rash with itching Mouse (2), rat (2) None
Raccoon Conjunctival itching, tears, eye itching

Notes

This study is generously supported by national research foundation of Korea with the government fund provided by the ministry of science and future planning (NRF-2015R1D1A1A02061943).

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