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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 40-46

Identification of different pigeon allergens and its trigger toward increase in inner city Asthma

Department of Immunology, Sir. H.N. Medical Research Society, Sir. H.N. Hospital and Research Centre, Girgaum, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Sudha Shrikant Deo
Senior Scientist, Sir. H.N. Medical Research Society, Sir. H.N. Hospital and Research Centre, Raja Ram Mohan Roy Road, Prathna Samaj, Girgaum, Mumbai - 400 004, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-6691.134224

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Background: Upon exposure, allergic reactions to breathing pigeon feces are common. The dust of dried droppings irritates the nasal passages, causing sneezing, coughs, excess mucus and shortness of breath, dizziness and a sense of vertigo. Hence exposure to pigeon allergens in the surroundings has led to increase in hypersensitivity reactions due to pigeon proteins present in their feathers and droppings. Aims and Objectives: The aim and objective of the following study is to investigate the role of pigeon droppings in the increase of inner city asthma. To study the different allergens present in the pigeon droppings. Materials and Methods: A total of 500 asthmatics were screened for hypersensitivity reactions toward protein extracts from pigeon droppings. 100 asthmatic patients were selected showing 3+ reactions by skin scratch test and an induration of more than 5 mm with inflammation. Total immunoglobulin E (IgE) as well as specific IgE quantitated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and circulating immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody toward pigeon allergens was studied by western blot. Results: Totally 87 asthmatic patients and 23 healthy normal showed reactivity toward allergens of pigeon feathers and droppings by skin test with induration of 1.48 ± 0.12** in patients (P < 0.000) and 0.17 ± 0.81 in healthy controls. Reactivity shown toward pigeon dropping allergen was 13 ± 0.121 in patients and that shown by healthy controls being 0.26 ± 0.094*(P < 0.001), which was also statistically significant. The total IgE was 1906.84 ± 3696.27 IU/ml in patients **(P < 0.0001) when compared to healthy controls 86.21 ± 50.18 IU/ml. Specific IgE detected in patients toward allergens was 0.31 ± 0.10 OD. *(P < 0.001) to that of normal being 0.19 ± 0.06 OD. Patients serum reacted to 129 kD and 43 kD protein extract of pigeon dropping by western blotting and total IgG by ELISA was 1802.0 ± 66.5 mg/dl in patients (P < 0.016). The normal range being 581-1630 mg/dl. The pulmonary function test by spirometry was 60%, 40% lesser when compared with healthy normals. Conclusions: Observed results showed an increase in the hypersensitivity reactions toward the pigeon allergens and increase in the antibody levels of IgG in circulation. This probably may have added to the increase in asthma cases in our city.

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