Seasonal appearance of grass pollen allergen in natural, pauci-micronic aerosol of various size fractions. Relationship with airborne grass pollen concentration


Dr F. Th. M. Spieksma, Laboratory of Aerobiology. Department of Pneumology, C3-P, University Hospital, P.O. Box 9600, NL-2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands.


In a study during the 1993 grass pollen season at Leiden, the relationship between atmospheric pollen allergen carried by five size fractions of pauci-micronic (few microns) particles and the grass pollen count was investigated. Sampling was carried out on dry days, and atmospheric pollen allergen in the particle fractions was assessed by a RAST-inhibition assay while grass pollen quantities were measured with a volumetric pollen trap. It appears that the atmospheric presence of grass pollen allergen in all size fractions is restricted mainly to the period of presence of grass pollen grains. Before and after the grass pollen season atmospheric grass pollen allergen quantities are generally very low. It is concluded that a routinely performed grass pollen count is a reliable measurement for the estimation of the amount of atmospheric grass pollen allergen, also in the pauci-micronic particle fraction.