Most pollen allergens in the air are carried by pollen grains, but the presence of airborne smaller respirable particles containing pollen allergens has also been demonstrated. Meteorological factors drastically affect the occurrence of pollen, allergen release in the air and diffusion of the latest. In order to shed light on this phenomenon, the dynamics of pollen and the pollen panallergen profilin in the air of two European cities (León, Spain and Bologna, Italy) having different weather conditions, were analyzed. Pollen sampling was performed continuously from March to June 2015 using two seven-day recording volumetric trap of Hirst-type, while the particles for aeroallergen quantification were sampled with a Burkard Cyclone sampler and the profilin content in aerosol samples was quantified using an indirect double-antibody sandwich ELISA. In both cities, pollen and profilin concentrations followed a similar trend and showed a significant correlation; however, peaks were often misaligned, with the profilin peaks following those of pollen. Several meteorological parameters, such as relative humidity, significantly influenced pollen and allergen dispersion. In vitro pollen tests were thus performed in order to mimic pollen rehydration, occurring in natural conditions and a massive protein release from allergenic pollen was detected during the early stages of pollen rehydration when profilin was also extruded from the grains. The different timing and protein amounts released from different pollen during hydration might explain, at least in part, the non-synchronous pollen and profilin peaks detected in the atmosphere.
Atmospheric Environment – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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