Occupational asthma: new low-molecular-weight causal agents, 2000-2010.

Journal of Allergy
J A PralongManon Labrecque


Background. More than 400 agents have been documented as causing occupational asthma (OA). The list of low-molecular-weight (LMW) agents that have been identified as potential causes of OA is constantly expanding, emphasizing the need to continually update our knowledge by reviewing the literature. Objective. The objective of this paper was to identify all new LMW agents causing occupational asthma reported during the period 2000-2010. Methods. A Medline search was performed using the keywords occupational asthma, new allergens, new causes, and low-molecular-weight agents. Results. We found 39 publications describing 41 new LMW causal agents, which belonged to the following categories: drugs (n = 12), wood dust (n = 11), chemicals (n = 8), metals (n = 4), biocides (n = 3), and miscellaneous (n = 3). The diagnosis of OA was confirmed through SIC for 35 of 41 agents, peak expiratory flow monitoring for three (3) agents, and the clinical history alone for three (3) agents. Immunological tests provided evidence supporting an IgE-mediated mechanism for eight (8) (20%) of the newly described agents. Conclusion. This paper highlights the importance of being alert to the occurrence of new LMW sensitizers, which can elicit OA. The immun...Continue Reading


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