Tree pollen allergy in Southwestern Ontario
© Tsai et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2012
Published: 2 November 2012
Cross-reactivity among tree pollens is not as pronounced as that among grass or ragweed pollens. Seasonal pollen counts found in popular media only report selected tree pollen counts and may not reflect locally prevalent pollens.
Atmospheric pollen in London, Ontario was collected with a Burkard air sampler from 1999-2009. Pollen was identified with light microscopy. The average monthly pollen count as well as total was calculated from January 1999 to December 2009. The local results were compared with those reported on the Weather Network website.
Local pollen counts may differ from those reported in popular media. The clinical relevance of the difference is not yet known. Knowledge of the local plant taxonomy and allergen cross-reactivity is important in selecting clinically relevant pollens for testing and immunotherapy, especially considering pollens that do not cross-react antigenically with those in the standard tree “mix”.
Deb Boersema, Allergy Dispensing Lab, London Health Sciences.
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