Asthma caused by sericin

  • Hairdresser
  • Sericulture
  • Textile industry
Incidence: in the sericulture industry more than 50% of subjects are affected. In 1965 there was an outbreak of an asthma epidemic amongst hairdressers.
Atopy does play a role, however all exposed subjects may become affected.
IgE-dependent mechanism.
Work place conditions in the factory and the presence of other allergens in the hairdressing salon increase the symptoms. The possibility of pulmonary thesaurisoma should be considered since modern lacquers contain polyvinylpyrolidone.
Sensitization occurring due to the preparation of the cocoon and unwinding processes in the silk industry.
In the case of the hairdresser, the hair lacquer spray contains sericin.
Asthma, rhinitis and urticaria.
Diagnostic methods
Skin prick test (allergen extract is not commercially available).
Bronchial provocation test (in hospital) and work place monitoring.
Immunological assay: RAST sericin.


  1. Toxicol. 1963,1:171
  2. Thorax 1986,41:42
  3. Rev. Fr. Allergol.1967,4:193

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