Specific antigens in dust from swine confinement buildings


Iversen, M.; Dahl, R.

American Journal of Industrial Medicine 25(1): 49-51

1994


American
Journal
of
Industrial
Medicine
25:49-51
(1994)
Specific
Antigens
in
Dust
From
Swine
Confinement
Buildings
Martin
Iversen,
MD,
and
Ronald
Dahl,
mo
Key
words:
farming,
allergy,
asthma,
confinement
farming,
organic
dusts
INTRODUCTION
Epidemiological
studies
have
demonstrated
that
pig
farmers
have
an
excess
of
respiratory
symptoms
[Donham
et
al.,
1984;
Dosman
et
al.,
1988;
Iversen
et
al.,
1988]
and
a
lower
lung
function
than
other
farmers
[Dosman
et
al.,
1988;
Iversen
and
Pedersen,
1990;
Cormier
et
al.,
1991].
Furthermore,
they
seem
to
have
bronchial
hyperreactivity
[Iversen
and
Pedersen,
1990].
IgE
antibodies
to
swine
proteins
are
rarely
found
[Katila
et
al.,
1981;
Matson
et
al.,
1983],
whereas
IgG
antibodies
are
frequent
but
have
no
association
with
symptoms
or
disease
[Brouwer
et
al.,
1986;
Virtanen
et
al.,
1990].
One
study
[Cormier
et
al.,
1991]
reported
a
high
prevalence
of
positiVe
skin-prick
tests
to
hog
antigens
in
farmers
and
control
persons,
and
the
positive
reactions
were
probably
nonspecific.
The
excess
of
symptoms
in
pig
farmers
is
probably
caused
by
dust
exposure
in
confinement
buildings
[Rylander
et
al.,
1989],
and
endotoxin
in
the
dust
has
been
implicated
as
a
causal
factor
[Donham
et
al.,
1989].
The
purpose
of
this
study
was
to
investigate
whether
farmers
were
sensitized
to
allergens
present
in
dust
from
swine
confinement
buildings,
and
to
study,
in
more
detail,
farmers
sensitized
to
swine
protein.
METHODS
From
a
swine
confinement
building
(fattening
pigs)
at
the
State
Institute
of
Agricultural
Engineering,
dust
was
obtained
with
a
cyclone
separator
with
an
air
velocity
of
1.25
m/s.
Ten
grams
of
dust
were
incubated
with
100
ml
sterile
water
for
24
hours
and
centrifuged,
and
the
supernatant
was
freeze-dried
and
coupled
to
RAST
discs
(Pharmacia,
Uppsala,
Sweden)
[Ceska
et
al.,
1972].
Pig
protein
(epithelium
and
urine)
was
also
coupled
to
RAST
discs.
Sera
from
247
farmers
were
tested
by
RAST
(Pharmacia)
against
the
coupled
dust
extracts.
The
farmers
were
described
earlier
in
Department
of
Respiratory
Diseases,
University
Hospital
of
Aarhus,
Aarhus,
Denmark.
Address
reprints
requests
to
Martin
Iversen,
Department
of
Respiratory
Diseases,
University
Hospital,
8000
Aarhus
C,
Denmark.
Accepted
for
publication
March
15,
1993.
©
1994
Wiley-Liss,
Inc.
50
Iversen
and
Dahl
TABLE
I.
Characteristics
of
Six
Farmers
Who
Had
a
Positive
RAST
Against
Dust
From
Confinement
Building
1
2
3
4
5
6
Age
(years)
53
44
68
63
38
49
Asthma
+
+ + +
+
Rhinitis
Atopic
dermatitis
+
RAST
class
1-4
House
dust
mites
2
1
0
0
2
1
Storage
mites
0
0
3
2
2
1
Cow
(hair)
I
0
0
2
1
0
Rye
0
2
2
2 2
1
Oat
1
3 3
0
1
0
Wheat
2 2
2
2 2
0
Barley
2
2
0
2 2
2
Timothy
0
4
0
0
2
0
IgE
(kU/I)
>1000
157
907
603
938
347
RAST
(PRU/ml)
dust
3.90
0.41
0.36
1.00
0.52
1.50
Swine
protein
Epithelium
1.70
<0.35
<0.35
<0.35
<0.35
<0.35
Urine
0.40
<0.35
<0.35
<0.35
<0.35
<0.35
RAST
class
in
PRU/ml:
0
(<0.35),
1
(0.35-0.70),
2
(0.70-3.50),
3
(3.50-17.50),
4
(>17.50).
two
published
studies:
144
[Iversen
et
al.,
1990]
and
103
[Iversen
and
Pedersen,
1990].
RESULTS
Six
farmers
(2.4%)
had
a
positive
RAST
(>0.35
PRU/ml).
Five
of
the
six
were
asthmatics;
all
six
had
raised
IgE
levels
and
allergy
to
mites
and
grain
species
(Table
I).
RAST
values
against
dust
were
low
and
might
be
explained
by
mite
and
grain
allergy.
Person
1
had
severe
atopic
dermatitis
with
wounds
on
fingers
and
hands;
RAST
values
to
swine
proteins
were
low
and
not
consistent.
Specific
IgE
antibodies
to
swine
protein
were
found
in
only
one
person,
but
the
specificity
may,
however,
be
questioned
because
of
the
very
high
IgE
level
in
this
person.
Our
findings
suggest
that
specific
IgE
antibodies
to
swine
protein
are
extremely
rare.
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