However, even at a cutoff level of 0.05 kU/l, we found distinctly positive reactions in immunoblotting in a few cases. In summary,
we propose an optimized cutoff level of 0.2 kU/l for both commercial test kits to optimize the diagnostic efficiency without losing specificity. The prevalence of atopic sensitization against ubiquitous allergens in farmers has been assessed before in only a small number of studies: high atopy rates up to 35 and 49%, respectively, have been previously described in Polish and Austrian farming students (Prior et al. 1996; Spiewak et al. 2001). During the last few years, several studies have pointed to protection from childhood allergy in children who lived on farms (overview in: von Mutius 2007). However, in contrast, the results of our study with a rather high sensitization rate of 38% against ubiquitous allergens approve EPZ5676 cost the findings of an atopic sensitization in association with an agricultural occupation in adulthood. Whether intensity and continuity of farming exposure or other factors might be decisive for these discrepant Selleckchem BIBW2992 findings in adults and children on farms remain to be clarified. Epidemiological studies on cattle allergy in dairy farming are rare and difficult to compare because of methodological differences. However, their results underline the elevated risk of animal farmers for occupation-related respiratory allergy (Danuser
et al. 2001; Heutelbeck et al. 2007; Omland 2002; Piipari and Keskinen 2005; Terho 1985). In dairy-related workplaces, one of the occupations with the closest contact to cattle in everyday work is claw trimming. It is unclear why cattle-related sensitization in a high percentage of claw trimmers with work-related symptoms remains undetected. Possibly, economic aspects outweigh the need to initiate medical intervention at an earlier stage. Additionally, some workers may not interpret initial Thymidine kinase symptoms as an early sign of a chronic allergic disease. Our results underline the need for prevention strategies, in particular measures to identify Bafilomycin A1 populations at risk of allergy. One suitable measure in this
context could be screening for sensitizations against ubiquitous allergens, which were found in the samples of nearly all cattle-sensitized claw trimmers. Since more than 90% of cattle-allergic farmers, regardless of their age, showed a sensitization to least one ubiquitous allergen, atopic predisposition seems to be a relevant and suitable screening factor (Heutelbeck et al. 2007). After identifying at-risk populations based on such criteria, individuals should be screened in a second step for work-related sensitizations with effective diagnostic methods. In selected groups, e.g., when screening for sensitizations at an early stage, we propose to choose a lower cutoff level of 0.2 kU/l when using commercially available allergen extracts.