Spider-mite allergy and asthma in fruit growers

Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology (Impact Factor: 3.57). 05/2002; 2(2):103-7. DOI: 10.1097/00130832-200204000-00004
Source: PubMed


Asthma and allergic diseases caused by domestic mites such as house dust mites and storage mites are major health problems worldwide. In contrast to domestic mites, spider mites are outdoor phytophagous mites causing significant damage to fruit leaves throughout the world. After several case reports of spider mite-induced asthma and allergy, cross-sectional surveys have demonstrated that spider mites are important allergens in the development of asthma and rhinitis in fruit farmers. Interestingly, epidemiological surveys have also demonstrated that spider mites are common sensitizing allergens that are related to the prevalence of asthma and rhinitis, even in the non-farming population exposed to spider mites. Protein analysis has demonstrated that crude extracts derived from spider mites contain several major allergens, and that N-terminal amino acid sequencing of the major allergens is not homologous with any previously characterized domestic mite allergens, suggesting that major allergens derived from spider mites are unique in terms of cross-reactivity to domestic mites. Taken together, these findings suggest that spider mites are important allergens in the development of asthma among the exposed non-farming population as well as among fruit farmers themselves, and that allergens derived from spider mites may be novel allergens.

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    • "It is urgently necessary to develop standard references and immnoassays for the detection of major allergens, such as Japanese hop (Humulus japonicus) (Fig. 1A),81 spider mites (Tetranychus urticae and Panonychus citri),82 non-biting midge (Chironomus spp) (Fig. 1B),83 Pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis),84 and Asian needle ant (Pachydonyla chinensis),85 which are frequent causes of allergic illness in Korea. "
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    • "Excessive levels of organic dusts and ammonia have been reported in poultry farms in Korea (17) and respiratory diseases have been frequently reported among farmers (3). A variety of case reports and field studies have shown that many other respiratory diseases or allergies such as occupational asthma in fruit farmers (18), occupational pollinosis induced by radish and Chinese cabbage pollen in horticultures farmers (19), and hypersensitivity pneumonitits from stored hay (20). "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this paper was to provide an overview of mortality and disease prevalence related to occupational diseases among agricultural workers in Korea. We evaluated the age-standardized mortality rates and the prevalence of chronic diseases and compared them with those of other populations using death registration data from 2004 through 2008 and the 2005 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. In addition, we conducted a literature review on published articles examining the health status of farmers in Korea. Agricultural workers have a significantly higher mortality of cancer, tuberculosis, chronic respiratory diseases, liver diseases, suicide, motor and non-motor vehicle accidents. Compared to other populations, farmers have higher prevalence rates of arthritis and intervertebral disc disorders. The literature review revealed a number of work-related diseases among farmers, such as musculoskeletal diseases, pesticide poisoning, infections, and respiratory and neurologic diseases. Korean farmers demonstrate a distinct pattern of mortality and disease prevalence compared to other populations. Although lifestyle factors remain important contributors to those deaths and diseases, our study suggests that occupation is a major determinant as well. Intensive programs such as surveillance systems, therefore, should be developed in order to identify and prevent work-related diseases among agricultural workers in Korea.
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    • "Several important inhalant allergens have been reported in Korea. Outdoor spider mites, such as the citrus red mite (CRM; P. citiri), European red mite (ERM; P. ulmi), and two-spotted spider mite (TSM; T. urticae), are common allergens among fruitcultivating farmers (Fig. 4).9,10 Specifically, CRMs, first reported by Kim YK et al.,11 are novel and important allergens that cause asthma and other allergic diseases among citrus cultivating farm and children living in rural areas.11-13 "
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