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1.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-35206669

RESUMO

Airborne pollen monitoring has been an arduous task, making ecological applications and allergy management virtually disconnected from everyday practice. Over the last decade, intensive research has been conducted worldwide to automate this task and to obtain real-time measurements. The aim of this study was to evaluate such an automated biomonitoring system vs. the conventional 'gold-standard' Hirst-type technique, attempting to assess which may more accurately provide the genuine exposure to airborne pollen. Airborne pollen was monitored in Augsburg since 2015 with two different methods, a novel automatic Bio-Aerosol Analyser, and with the conventional 7-day recording Hirst-type volumetric trap, in two different sites. The reliability, performance, accuracy, and comparability of the BAA500 Pollen Monitor (PoMo) vs. the conventional device were investigated, by use of approximately 2.5 million particles sampled during the study period. The observations made by the automated PoMo showed an average accuracy of approximately 85%. However, it also exhibited reliability problems, with information gaps within the main pollen season of between 17 to 19 days. The PoMo automated algorithm had identification issues, mainly confusing the taxa of Populus, Salix and Tilia. Hirst-type measurements consistently exhibited lower pollen abundances (median of annual pollen integral: 2080), however, seasonal traits were more comparable, with the PoMo pollen season starting slightly later (median: 3 days), peaking later (median: 5 days) but also ending later (median: 14 days). Daily pollen concentrations reported by Hirst-type traps vs. PoMo were significantly, but not closely, correlated (r = 0.53-0.55), even after manual classification. Automatic pollen monitoring has already shown signs of efficiency and accuracy, despite its young age; here it is suggested that automatic pollen monitoring systems may be more effective in capturing a larger proportion of the airborne pollen diversity. Even though reliability issues still exist, we expect that this new generation of automated bioaerosol monitoring will eventually change the aerobiological era, as known for almost 70 years now.


Assuntos
Alérgenos , Monitoramento Ambiental , Monitoramento Ambiental/métodos , Pólen , Reprodutibilidade dos Testes , Estações do Ano
2.
Int J Environ Health Res ; : 1-17, 2021 Oct 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34607495

RESUMO

Higher incidences of asthma during thunderstorms can pose a serious health risk. In this study, we estimate the thunderstorm asthma risk using statistical methods, with special focus on Bavaria, Southern Germany. In this approach, a dataset of asthma-related emergency cases for the study region is combined with meteorological variables and aeroallergen data to identify statistical relationships between the occurrence of asthma (predictand) and different environmental parameters (set of predictors). On the one hand, the results provide evidence for a weak but significant relationship between atmospheric stability indices and asthma emergencies in the region, but also show that currently thunderstorm asthma is not a major concern in Bavaria due to overall low incidences. As thunderstorm asthma can have severe consequences for allergic patients, the presented approach can be important for the development of emergency strategies in regions affected by thunderstorm asthma and under present and future climate change conditions.

3.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34639625

RESUMO

Flowering and pollen seasons are sensitive to environmental variability and are considered climate change indicators. However, it has not been concluded to what extent flowering phenology is indeed reflected in airborne pollen season locally. The aim of this study was to investigate, for the commonly represented in temperate climates and with highly allergenic pollen Betula pendula Roth, the responsiveness of flowering to different environmental regimes and also to check for commensurate changes in the respective pollen seasons. The region of Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany, was initially screened for birch trees, which were geolocated at a radius of 25 km. Random trees across the city were then investigated during three full flowering years, 2015-2017. Flowering observations were made 3-7 times a week, from flower differentiation to flower desiccation, in a total of 43 plant individuals. Data were regressed against meteorological parameters and air pollutant levels in an attempt to identify the driving factors of flowering onset and offset. Flowering dates were compared with dates of the related airborne pollen seasons per taxon; airborne pollen monitoring took place daily using a Hirst-type volumetric sampler. The salient finding was that flowering occurred earlier during warmer years; it also started earlier at locations with higher urbanity, and peaked and ended earlier at sites with higher NO2 concentrations. Airborne pollen season of Betula spp. frequently did not coincide locally with the flowering period of Betula pendula: while flowering and pollen season were synchronized particularly in their onset, local flowering phenology alone could explain only 57.3% of the pollen season variability. This raises questions about the relationship between flowering times and airborne pollen seasons and on the rather underestimated role of the long-distance transport of pollen.


Assuntos
Betula , Dióxido de Nitrogênio , Alérgenos , Alemanha , Humanos , Pólen , Estações do Ano , Temperatura
4.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(12)2021 03 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33798095

RESUMO

Pollen exposure weakens the immunity against certain seasonal respiratory viruses by diminishing the antiviral interferon response. Here we investigate whether the same applies to the pandemic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is sensitive to antiviral interferons, if infection waves coincide with high airborne pollen concentrations. Our original hypothesis was that more airborne pollen would lead to increases in infection rates. To examine this, we performed a cross-sectional and longitudinal data analysis on SARS-CoV-2 infection, airborne pollen, and meteorological factors. Our dataset is the most comprehensive, largest possible worldwide from 130 stations, across 31 countries and five continents. To explicitly investigate the effects of social contact, we additionally considered population density of each study area, as well as lockdown effects, in all possible combinations: without any lockdown, with mixed lockdown-no lockdown regime, and under complete lockdown. We found that airborne pollen, sometimes in synergy with humidity and temperature, explained, on average, 44% of the infection rate variability. Infection rates increased after higher pollen concentrations most frequently during the four previous days. Without lockdown, an increase of pollen abundance by 100 pollen/m3 resulted in a 4% average increase of infection rates. Lockdown halved infection rates under similar pollen concentrations. As there can be no preventive measures against airborne pollen exposure, we suggest wide dissemination of pollen-virus coexposure dire effect information to encourage high-risk individuals to wear particle filter masks during high springtime pollen concentrations.


Assuntos
COVID-19/epidemiologia , Internacionalidade , Pólen/efeitos adversos , COVID-19/virologia , Geografia , Humanos , Estudos Longitudinais , SARS-CoV-2/fisiologia
5.
Environ Int ; 150: 106420, 2021 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33556912

RESUMO

Biodiversity is a cornerstone of human health and well-being. However, while evidence of the contributions of nature to human health is rapidly building, research into how biodiversity relates to human health remains limited in important respects. In particular, a better mechanistic understanding of the range of pathways through which biodiversity can influence human health is needed. These pathways relate to both psychological and social processes as well as biophysical processes. Building on evidence from across the natural, social and health sciences, we present a conceptual framework organizing the pathways linking biodiversity to human health. Four domains of pathways-both beneficial as well as harmful-link biodiversity with human health: (i) reducing harm (e.g. provision of medicines, decreasing exposure to air and noise pollution); (ii) restoring capacities (e.g. attention restoration, stress reduction); (iii) building capacities (e.g. promoting physical activity, transcendent experiences); and (iv) causing harm (e.g. dangerous wildlife, zoonotic diseases, allergens). We discuss how to test components of the biodiversity-health framework with available analytical approaches and existing datasets. In a world with accelerating declines in biodiversity, profound land-use change, and an increase in non-communicable and zoonotic diseases globally, greater understanding of these pathways can reinforce biodiversity conservation as a strategy for the promotion of health for both people and nature. We conclude by identifying research avenues and recommendations for policy and practice to foster biodiversity-focused public health actions.


Assuntos
Biodiversidade , Zoonoses , Animais , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais , Ecossistema , Exercício Físico , Humanos , Saúde Pública
6.
J Allergy Clin Immunol ; 146(3): 583-594.e6, 2020 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32272131

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Pollen exposure induces local and systemic allergic immune responses in sensitized individuals, but nonsensitized individuals also are exposed to pollen. The kinetics of symptom expression under natural pollen exposure have never been systematically studied, especially in subjects without allergy. OBJECTIVE: We monitored the humoral immune response under natural pollen exposure to potentially uncover nasal biomarkers for in-season symptom severity and identify protective factors. METHODS: We compared humoral immune response kinetics in a panel study of subjects with seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) and subjects without allergy and tested for cross-sectional and interseasonal differences in levels of serum and nasal, total, and Betula verrucosa 1-specific immunoglobulin isotypes; immunoglobulin free light chains; cytokines; and chemokines. Nonsupervised principal component analysis was performed for all nasal immune variables, and single immune variables were correlated with in-season symptom severity by Spearman test. RESULTS: Symptoms followed airborne pollen concentrations in subjects with SAR, with a time lag between 0 and 13 days depending on the pollen type. Of the 7 subjects with nonallergy, 4 also exhibited in-season symptoms whereas 3 did not. Cumulative symptoms in those without allergy were lower than in those with SAR but followed the pollen exposure with similar kinetics. Nasal eotaxin-2, CCL22/MDC, and monocyte chemoattactant protein-1 (MCP-1) levels were higher in subjects with SAR, whereas IL-8 levels were higher in subjects without allergy. Principal component analysis and Spearman correlations identified nasal levels of IL-8, IL-33, and Betula verrucosa 1-specific IgG4 (sIgG4) and Betula verrucosa 1-specific IgE (sIgE) antibodies as predictive for seasonal symptom severity. CONCLUSIONS: Nasal pollen-specific IgA and IgG isotypes are potentially protective within the humoral compartment. Nasal levels of IL-8, IL-33, sIgG4 and sIgE could be predictive biomarkers for pollen-specific symptom expression, irrespective of atopy.


Assuntos
Alérgenos/imunologia , Antígenos de Plantas/imunologia , Pólen/imunologia , Rinite Alérgica Sazonal/imunologia , Adulto , Biomarcadores , Feminino , Humanos , Imunoglobulina A/sangue , Imunoglobulina A/imunologia , Imunoglobulina E/sangue , Imunoglobulina E/imunologia , Imunoglobulina G/sangue , Imunoglobulina G/imunologia , Interleucina-33/imunologia , Interleucina-8/imunologia , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Mucosa Nasal/imunologia , Rinite Alérgica Sazonal/sangue , Estações do Ano , Adulto Jovem
7.
Allergy ; 75(3): 576-587, 2020 03.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31512243

RESUMO

BACKGROUND: Hundreds of plant species release their pollen into the air every year during early spring. During that period, pollen allergic as well as non-allergic patients frequently present to doctors with severe respiratory tract infections. Our objective was therefore to assess whether pollen may interfere with antiviral immunity. METHODS: We combined data from real-life human exposure cohorts, a mouse model and human cell culture to test our hypothesis. RESULTS: Pollen significantly diminished interferon-λ and pro-inflammatory chemokine responses of airway epithelia to rhinovirus and viral mimics and decreased nuclear translocation of interferon regulatory factors. In mice infected with respiratory syncytial virus, co-exposure to pollen caused attenuated antiviral gene expression and increased pulmonary viral titers. In non-allergic human volunteers, nasal symptoms were positively correlated with airborne birch pollen abundance, and nasal birch pollen challenge led to downregulation of type I and -III interferons in nasal mucosa. In a large patient cohort, numbers of rhinoviruspositive cases were correlated with airborne birch pollen concentrations. CONCLUSION: The ability of pollen to suppress innate antiviral immunity, independent of allergy, suggests that high-risk population groups should avoid extensive outdoor activities when pollen and respiratory virus seasons coincide.


Assuntos
Imunidade Inata , Pólen/efeitos adversos , Vírus Sinciciais Respiratórios , Rhinovirus , Animais , Humanos , Interferons , Camundongos , Mucosa Nasal
8.
Environ Res ; 174: 160-169, 2019 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31077991

RESUMO

The effect of height on pollen concentration is not well documented and little is known about the near-ground vertical profile of airborne pollen. This is important as most measuring stations are on roofs, but patient exposure is at ground level. Our study used a big data approach to estimate the near-ground vertical profile of pollen concentrations based on a global study of paired stations located at different heights. We analyzed paired sampling stations located at different heights between 1.5 and 50 m above ground level (AGL). This provided pollen data from 59 Hirst-type volumetric traps from 25 different areas, mainly in Europe, but also covering North America and Australia, resulting in about 2,000,000 daily pollen concentrations analyzed. The daily ratio of the amounts of pollen from different heights per location was used, and the values of the lower station were divided by the higher station. The lower station of paired traps recorded more pollen than the higher trap. However, while the effect of height on pollen concentration was clear, it was also limited (average ratio 1.3, range 0.7-2.2). The standard deviation of the pollen ratio was highly variable when the lower station was located close to the ground level (below 10 m AGL). We show that pollen concentrations measured at >10 m are representative for background near-ground levels.


Assuntos
Monitoramento Ambiental , Pólen , Alérgenos , Austrália , Europa (Continente) , Humanos , Estações do Ano , Manejo de Espécimes
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