Asthma in poultry breeders


Occupations
  • Abattoir employees
  • Poulterer
Agents
Animal foodstuffs, Feathers, Mites, Ornithonyssus, Poultry dust.
 
Incidence
Incidence: relatively rare. Atopy is often a factor, but non-atopic subjects can be affected. IgE-dependent mechanism. In the case of alveolitis: presence of avian precipitins.
 
Conditions
Working in intensive poultry farms. Many allergens are involved: poultry skin, foodstuffs and a particular species of mite: Ornithonyssus. Working in poultry abattoirs (4 cases have been reported).
 
Symptoms
Rhinitis and asthma develop after several years of exposure to the risk. Alveolitis may also occur.
 
Diagnostic methods
Skin tests: with the suspect mite (not commercially available).
 
Immunological assay: RAST with Ornithonyssus extract (special coupling) has been developed, but is not yet commercially available.
 
Skin prick tests may be positive for chickens and turkey feathers.
 
Immunological measurements: the RAST Ornithonyssus (special binding) has been performed but is not commercially available at present.
 
Bronchial provocation test with raw materials (in hospital).

References

  1. Allergy 1997,52:594 - Perfetti L.
  2. Environ Res. 1995,70:11
  3. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 1984,73:265
  4. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 1984,73:56

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