Abstract During the months of July to October each year, a number of patients of both sexes and all ages present themselves to the Skin Outpatient Department complaining of an itchy rash, over the hands particularly but over the rest of the body as well. After investigation, it became apparent that all these persons were engaged in the prickly pear (sabra) trade, concerned with picking, distributing, and selling the product. All these patients were in direct contact with the fruit. This apparent relationship between the fruit and the rash led us to investigate further what appeared to be an occupational disease in this and neighboring countries, and possibly in other lands as well, where the prickly pear grows, viz., northern South America, Mexico, Morocco, Tunisia, and Italy. Historical Review A plant named sabra was known in Hebrew medical literature in the sixth century.1 The name is References 1. References 2 and 3. 2. References 4, 5, and 6. 3. Loew, I.: Die Flora der Juden , Wien and Leipzig, R. Loewit Verlag, Vol. 1, 1926, p. 320 4. Vol. 2, 1924, p. 149. 5. Zohary, M.: Plant World, Tel Aviv , Am Oved, 1954. 6. Warburg, O.: Die Pflanzenwelt , Leipzig and Wien, Bibliographisches Institut, Vol. 2, 1916. 7. Warthin, A. S., and Davis, J. E.: Cactus-Spine Pseudo-Tubercles , Ann. Clin. Med. 2:248, 1924. 8. Löwy, J.: Über eine lokale Toxikose nach Verletzung mit Kakteenstacheln , Med. Klin. 22:290, 1926. 9. Glass, E.: Klinisch-experimenteller Beitrag zu den Verletzungen durch Kakteenstacheln , Arch. klin. Chir. 145:658, 1927. 10. Cavallucci, U. D.: Una Dermatite professionale da spine di fico d'India , Rinasc. med. 7:90, 1930.
A.M.A. Archives of Dermatology – American Medical Association
Published: Sep 1, 1956