SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • acetaldehyde;
  • airway responsiveness;
  • asthma;
  • methacholine;
  • peak expiratory flow variation

Background

Recent studies have shown that airborne latex allergens cause allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma.

Objective

The aim of this study was to investigate the association between the development of rhinitis reactions during workplace-related inhalative challenge tests and nasal allergic inflammation.

Methods

Thirty-two health care workers (HCWs) with suspected respiratory hypersensitivity to latex allergens underwent an inhalative workplace-related challenge test with powdered latex gloves. Nasal lavage fluid (NALF) and nasal brushing (NAB) material were collected before and after exposure (30 min, 2, 6 and 24 h) to determine mediator and cellular composition. In addition, lung function parameters and nasal flow were recorded. Furthermore, six healthy controls underwent nasal brushing and nasal lavage without latex allergen challenge at the same time intervals.

Results

Twenty-six HCWs showed acute rhinitis by contact to airborne latex allergen exposure and 10 of them had an additional asthma response. Only in responders, significantly increased eosinophil levels were found 6 h (P < 0.00001) and 24 h (P < 0.0005) post-challenge when compared with the prechallenge values. The ECP levels measured 2, 6 and 24 h post-challenge in the responder group were significantly elevated when compared with the prechallenge values as well as with the non-responders (6 h: P < 0.05, 24 h: P < 0.00001 afterwards). Only in some concentrated NALF samples of responders collected 30 min post-challenge (seven out of 15) tryptase concentration above the detection limit were found. The NO derivative concentrations in NALF were significantly increased 6 h post-challenge compared with the prechallenge values (P < 0.05) and were significantly higher in responders than in non-responders and in controls (P < 0.002). IL-5 levels increased post-challenge in the responder group with a pronounced effect 6 h after challenge (P < 0.001). Overall, a variety of parameters was significantly correlated (e.g. ECP with NO derivatives, r = 0.792 P < 0.002).

Conclusions

Our data demonstrate for the first time that nasal and bronchial hyperreactivity to airborne latex allergens are associated with an increase of eosinophils and mediators (e.g. ECP, NO derivatives, IL-5, tryptase) in nasal mucosa. The combined use of NAB (for cells) and NALF (for mediators) appears to be a useful model to monitor nasal inflammation during workplace-related challenge tests.