Asthma caused by soya

  • Docker
  • Farmer
  • Food industry 
Incidence: low, but there have been asthma epidemics following unloading of soya cargoes, notably in Barcelona, Spain, which affected the populace of the town and its' surroundings. IgE-dependent mechanism. Atopy is a less important predisposing factor than bronchial hyperreactivity.
Sensitization of workers in the food industry is well known; sensitization is less common amongst harbour workers and the general public, but is known. Sensitisation to soybean dust is different to sensitisation to soya flour. Some allergens are common whilst others are restricted to vegetal debris. The allergen involved in asthma epidemics due to soya is usually gly m1 whilst that of soya flour is gly m2.
Asthma and dyspenoea symptoms occurring towards the end of the working day may continue for several hours after work. Serious rhinitis.
Diagnostic methods
Skin prick test.
Immunological assay: RAST/CAP RAST soya. Gly m1 can be measured using ELISA.
Bronchial provocation test (in hospital).


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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.