Mushroom pickers' asthma


Occupations
  • Mushroom producer
Agents
Pleurotus
 
Incidence
Rare considering the scale of the industry. Dependent upon the nature of the work.
 
Conditions
The number of spores present in the culture areas is enormous, therefore, prevention is essential: proper ventilation, wearing masks during harvesting, use of varieties known to produce fewer airborne spores.
 
Symptoms
Spasmodic cough followed by asthma attacks, initially only occurring in the work place. Rhinitis and conjunctivitis.
 
Diagnostic methods
Skin tests using extracts prepared from spores taken from the work place. Positive tests for basidiospores may be observed even in asymptomatic subjects.
 
Specific IgE can be measured using an ELISA test.

References

  1. Eur. Resp. J. 1991, 4:1143

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