Asthma caused by the skin of livestock


  • Animal breeder
  • Agriculteur
  • Farmer
  • Food industry
  • Groom (Palefrenier)
  • Jockey
  • Shepherd
  • Stable hand (Lad)
  • Veterinary surgeon,
Cows (Bovins), Deer, Goats, Horses, Mink, Sheep.
Incidence: on the increase in large farms. Use of milking machines can aggravate the condition. Subjects are almost always atopic. The mechanism is IgE-dependent. For mink farming, the risk is greater during the reproductive periods.
Sensitization to skin, urine and/or epithelia.
Other allergens may be responsible for the asthma: flours; moulds, medicines, foodstuffs or fur.
Besides less significant symptoms such as chronic cough and dyspnoea, classical asthma may occur, initially appearing to be uniquely linked to contact with animals then becoming more permanent. A recurrent coryza, urticaria and pruritus may also be present. According to some studies, 18% of animal breeders complain of work-associated rhinitis.
Diagnostic methods
Skin prick test with the allergens encountered at work (in hospital).
A bronchial provocation test with the allergen in question is definitive for the diagnosis.


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As in all diagnostic testing, the diagnosis is made by the physican based on both test results and the patient history.