Tromsø Birch Rust Allergy Study. Allergy to Birch Rust, a Possible Explanation to Seasonal Airway Allergy During Autumn?

2020-03-31 04:03:51 | BioPortfolio


In this project we study if spores from birch rust fungi (Melampsoridium Betulinum = MB) may be the eliciting allergen in patients with seasonal airway allergy during autumn in North Norway. Patients with suspected allergy to MB are compared with non-allergic controls using data about allergic disease and daily allergic symptoms during autumn. Daily spread of MB spores are compared with daily variations in allergic symptoms. Sensitization to MB and MB allergy are tested with skin prick test, specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) in serum, nasal provocation test and basophil activation test (BAT).


It is unknown why patients experience seasonal airway allergy during autumn in Norway, when there is no spread of pollen. Some old studies indicate that rust fungi on other plants may act as allergens to humans (1-6). In Norway, some patients report typical symptoms of allergic rhino-conjunctivitis and asthma from August to October which stops when temperature falls below zero (Celsius). Based on several patient experiences we hypothesize that MB may cause seasonal airway allergy during autumn. In this pilot study we will compare 30 patients with suspected allergy to MB with a control group of 15 non-allergic individuals. All 45 participants will answer the MeDALL (mechanisms of the development of allergy) questionnaire (7) about allergic diseases and daily register allergic symptoms (8) in the period from 1st of August to 15th of October 2020. Daily variations in symptoms will be compared with daily variations in spread of MB spores registered in pollen traps. Sensitization to MB will be tested with skin prick test and specific IgE in serum and allergy to MB with nasal provocation test and basophil activation test (BAT).

Identification of allergens and production of MB extracts for testing will be performed by Luxembourg institute of Health (LiH)(9-12) and BAT by Oslo University hospital (13-14)

Study Design


Hypersensitivity, Immediate


MeDALL questionnaire for allergic diseases, Registration of allergic symptoms, Skin Prick Test, Specific IgE in serum, Nasal provocation test, Basophil Activation Test


University Hospital of North Norway


Not yet recruiting


University Hospital of North Norway

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2020-03-31T04:03:51-0400

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