Sensitization to grass, ragweed, mugwort pollen allergens in Japanese monkeys (Macaca fuscata): preliminary report


M. Sakaguchi Department of Immunology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Toyama 1-23-1, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162, Japan.



The natural occurrence of Japanese cedar (CJ, Cryptomeria japonica) pollinosis has been reported in Japanese monkeys (Macaca fuscata). Furthermore, most of these monkeys with CJ pollinosis have immunoglobulin (Ig) E sensitization to Japanese cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa) pollen. However, specific IgE to other pollens has not yet been reported.


The present study was designed to investigate IgE sensitization of Japanese monkeys to grass, ragweed, and mugwort pollen.


Serum samples from 47 monkeys as a general population in one troop were collected at random. We measured specific IgE to grass, ragweed and mugwort pollen. Next, 10 monkeys with CJ pollinosis from the same troop were also examined for their IgE sensitization to grass, ragweed, and mugwort pollen.


Of 47 monkeys, 13 (28%) had specific IgE to CJ pollen, 15 (32%) to grass pollen, five (11%) to ragweed pollen, and three (6%) to mugwort pollen. Furthermore, CJ pollinosis monkeys seemed to be sensitized to these pollen allergens with higher frequency; of 10 monkeys, 10 (100%) had specific IgE to CJ pollen, six (60%) to grass pollen, four (40%) to ragweed pollen, and two (20%) to mugwort pollen.


Japanese monkeys had specific IgE to grass, ragweed, and mugwort pollen in addition to CJ pollen.