The study indicates that more and more Europeans are likely to suffer from ragweed allergy or already have an allergy to ragweed. Ragweed is the main cause of allergic rhinitis in North America but, until now, very few European regions were affected.
“The prevalence of ragweed sensitisation is clearly above 2.5%, the currently accepted threshold for ‘high prevalence’,” said Prof. Zuberbier, from the Charité University of Medicine in Berlin, who led the study. “The study highlights the spreading of ambrosia pollen and the dissemination of the plant throughout Europe. If we consider the apparent climate change, further evolutions in regional vegetation can be expected. GA²LEN therefore calls for a pan-European surveillance system to carefully monitor trends in sensitisation patterns which might allow coordinated counter-measures.”
In the study, a positive reaction to the skin-prick-test shows that the patient is sensitised to ragweed allergens. Sensitised people are more likely to develop allergic reaction to ragweed at some point of their lives.
Results confirmed Hungary to be the most affected country in Europe with close to 58-60% of sensitised people. Ragweed has spread in Hungary since the beginning of the nineteenth century, with a rapid extension in the early 1990s.
The study reveals an unexpectively high prevalence in Central-Western European countries and Denmark:
- 14% of the people tested in the three German research centres reacted positively to the skin prick test;
- 15% in the Netherlands;
- close to 20% in Denmark.
The lowest rates were observed in Italy and Finland, the latter being the only country to show a rate inferior to the threshold: 2.4% of the people tested during the study were sensitised.
1. The GA²LEN Skin-Prick-Test study involved 3000 patients from 17 research centres in 14 countries. Sensitisation to 18 indoor and outdoor allergens was assessed following a standard, comparable protocol for skin-prick-testing. Allergens include cat hair, indoor fungus, house dust mite, trees and plants pollens. Ambrosia was tested on more than 2000 people in 10 countries: Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland and Portugal.
2. Allergy is the official journal of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. It is an international journal including original research in the field, reviews of selected subjects of interest to the allergologist and immunologist and comments on topical aspects contemporary methodology. www.blackwellpublishing.com/ALL
3. Ragweed sensitization in Europe – GA²LEN study suggests increasing prevalence. Allergy 2009, In Press, DOI: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2009.01975.x
4. Pictures of ragweed and skin-prick-testing are available upon request (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Noélie Auvergne | alfa
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences