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Prevalence of ragweed sensitization at a clinical trial unit in northern Germany

: Badorrek, P.; Krug, N.; Hohlfeld, J.M.

Allergy. European journal of allergy and clinical immunology 71 (2016), Supplement 102, pp.484
ISSN: 0105-4538
ISSN: 1398-9995
European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI Congress) <2016, Vienna>
Fraunhofer ITEM ()

Background: While ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) is a common plant and a major cause for allergic reactions in North America it has originally not been native to Europe. However, there have been reports of ragweed plants in Germany since approx. 150 years and today it can be considered native to Germany, especially in the southern regions. Due to climatic changes ragweed plants constantly spread to northern Germany. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of sensitization against ragweed pollen in a population of allergic patients at a clinical trial unit in Hannover, Northern Germany.
Method: All patients with a history of allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, or both, that received a skin prick test at the Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine in Hannover between 2009 and 2015 have been evaluated for a positive reaction to ragweed. The skin prick test was conducted according to the guidelines of the German Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (DGAKI) and consisted of a panel of 16 allergens, mainly pollen, including ragweed.
Results: Between 2009 and 2015 a total of 666 patients with either allergic rhinitis (n = 452), allergic asthma (n = 14), or both (n = 200) have received a skin prick test. 178 patients (26.7%) showed a positive reaction to ragweed. The prevalence per year ranged from 17% to 39% with no increase over the years.
Conclusion: Although ragweed is still not common in northern Germany there is a high rate of sensitization in the investigated population. An increase in the ratio of sensitization between 2009 and 2015 was not observed.