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IgE-mediated sensitization in seafood processing workers

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Occupational-related allergic sensitization has been reported in fishery workers. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence, work-related symptoms, and possible risk factors in this occupationally exposed population in Greece.+ Sixty-four fish and seafood processing workers were compared with 60 controls regarding sensitization to seafood allergens. All participants underwent skin-prick tests (SPTs) with cod, sardines, shrimp, spiny lobster, crabs, salmon, mussels, and trout plus negative and positive control. The level of specific IgE (radioallergosorbent test) was evaluated in subjects with positive SPTs. Sensitization criteria were both SPTs and the corresponding positive radioallergosorbent test. Atopic status was tested with SPTs to seven common inhalant allergens. Potential risk factors for IgE sensitization were investigated using logistic regression analysis. Twenty-three of 64 workers (35.9%) were sensitive to at least one of the seafood allergens tested, and the prevalence in the control group was 10% (6/60; odds ratio, 5.049; 95% CI, 1.884 –13.533). The prevalence of sensitization in allergen species tested in the fishery workers group was shrimp, 12.5%; spiny lobster, 10.9%; mussels, 7.8%; crabs 3.1%; cod, 3.1%; sardines, 1.6%; salmon, 1.6%; and trout, 1.6%. Presence of atopy (p = 0.02), intensity (p = 0.03), and duration of exposure (p = 0.03) was found as potential risk factors for IgE sensitization. Four of 64 (6.25%) workers reported work-related symptoms. Occupational exposure to fish and seafood significantly increases the likelihood of sensitization in seafood allergens and atopy, duration, and intensity of exposure may represent potential risk factors in seafood processing workers.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

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    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

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    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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