Aerosampling using Rotorod samplers was conducted in the Institute for Medical Research, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from December 1991 to November 1993. Samples were collected twice a week between 10.00 hours to 12.00 hours. Rods were stained and examined microscopically. A total of 8 and 20 types of pollens and mold spores were collected, respectively. More mold spores were collected than pollens. Grass pollen constituted more than 40 percent of total pollen counts. Gramineae pollen counts peaked in March and September. The most abundant mold spore was Cladosporium followed by Rust, Nigrospora, Curvularia and Smut. Cladosporium counts peaked in February and August. Rust counts peaked in June and December whereas counts for Nigrospora peaked in February and October. Highest counts of Smut were recorded in March and October. Curvularia counts peaked in January, June and September.
The pollen of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) is a strong allergen and causes severe pollinosis in Malaysia and Singapore. In the previous study (Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem., 64, 820-827 (2002)), from the oil palm pollens, we purified an antigenic glycoprotein (Ela g Bd 31 K), which is recognized by IgE from palm pollinosis patients. In this report, we describe the structural analysis of sugar chains linked to palm pollen glycoproteins to confirm the ubiquitous occurrence of antigenic N-glycans in the allergenic pollen. N-Glycans liberated from the pollen glycoprotein mixture by hydrazinolysis were labeled with 2-aminopyridine followed by purification with a combination of size-fractionation HPLC and reversed-phase HPLC. The structures of the PA-sugar chains were analyzed by a combination of two-dimensional sugar chain mapping, electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), and tandem MS analysis, as well as exoglycosidase digestions. The antigenic N-glycan bearing alpha1-3 fucose and/or beta1-2 xylose residues accounts for 36.9% of total N-glycans: GlcNAc2Man3Xyl1Fuc1GlcNAc2 (24.6%), GlcNAc2Man3Xyl1GlcNAc2 (4.4%), Man3Xyl1Fuc1-GlcNAc2 (1.1%), GlcNAc1Man3Xyl1Fuc1GlcNAc2 (5.6%), and GlcNAc1Man3Xyl1GlcNAc2 (1.2%). The remaining 63.1% of the total N-glycans belong to the high-mannose type structure: Man9GlcNAc2 (5.8%), Man8GlcNAc2 (32.1%), Man7GlcNAc2 (19.9%), Man6GlcNAc2 (5.3%).
We investigated the aeroallergens affecting 200 asthmatics from the University Hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and found 164 (82%) patients with skin prick test (SPT) reactivity to one or more of a panel of 14 allergens, which included indoor and outdoor animal and plant aeroallergens. Reactivity was most frequent to the indoor airborne allergens, with 159 (79.5%) reacting to either or both house dust mite (Dermatophagoides) species and 87 (43.5%) to cockroach. The SPT reactivity to house dust mites corresponded with the finding that patients found house dust to be the main precipitant of asthmatic attacks.
In this paper we report results of skin prick tests (SPT) using pollen extracts on 200 patients with clinical symptoms of asthma, and results of a parallel study in which pollen was collected and classified over a period of 18 months. The patients were outpatients from the University Hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, while the pollen grains were collected with a spore trap placed in the campus of the University of Malaya, approximately one kilometer from the University Hospital. Pollen extracts of 3 grasses (Bahia, Bermuda, rough pigweed) and 2 flowering trees, Acacia and Melaleuca, were used in the SPT. Of the 29.5% asthmatics with positive SPT reactions, 21.5% were to one or more of the grass pollens, 21.5% to Acacia and 7.5% to Melaleuca pollen. Acacia and Bermuda grass extracts were the most allergenic, which agreed with results of the pollen collection which showed grass and Acacia pollen grains to be the two most commonly found pollens.
Study site: University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC)
Allergic rhinitis is the single most common chronic allergic disease affecting an estimated four million people in Malaysia. House dust mites, grass pollens and fungal spores play has been identified to play a major role in the pathogenesis of allergic rhinitis. However, sensitization to pollen and spores in Malaysia is not well documented. On the basis of the results of an aerobiological survey of the common mold spores and pollens in the Klang Valley, twelve local extracts of molds and two local extracts of grass pollens were prepared by the Institute for Medical Research for this study. The study evaluated the prevalence of skin prick test (SPT) reactivity to the extracts of those airborne molds and pollens in allergic rhinitis patients in the Klang Valley. A total of 85 allergic rhinitis patients were recruited. All molds and grass pollens extracts tested, elicited positive response to SPT. Among the molds extracts, Fusarium was observed to have the highest prevalence of SPT reactivity (23.5%), followed by Aspergillus flavum (21.2%), Dreselera orysae (18.8%), Alternaria sp (17.6%), Curvularis eragrostidis (17.6%), Penicillium oxa (16.5%), Pestolotriopsis gtuepini (16.5%), Rhizopphus arrhi (16.5%), Aspergilluls nigus (15.3%). Penicillium choy (12.9%), Aspergillus fumigatus (11.8%), and Cladosporium sp (4.7%). In the grass pollen, the SPT reactivity to Ischaemum and Enilia is 14.1% and 5.9% respectively. However, the prevalence of SPT reactivity was not influenced by the age, sex, ethnicity, symptomatology and concurrent allergic condition. We have documented the prevalence of skin prick test reactivity to common molds and grass pollens in the Klang valley, which is comparable to the neighboring countries. Its prevalence in our allergic rhinitis patients suggests that it has a role in pathogenesis of allergic diseases. A larger representative sample involving multi-centric centers in Malaysia should be encouraged in the near future.
Study site: ENT
Department, Pusat Perubatan University Kebangsaan Malaysia