Environmental Research, 147, 2016, 241–248
In temperate zones of North-Central Europe the sensitization to ash pollen is a recognized problem, also extended to the Northern areas of the Mediterranean basin. Some observations in Switzerland suggest that ash pollen season could be as important as birch pollen period. The allergenic significance of this pollen has been poorly studied in Southern Europe as the amounts of ash pollen are low. Due to the high degree of family relationship with the olive pollen major allergen (backed by a sequence identity of 88%), the Fraxinus pollen could be a significant cause of early respiratory allergy in sensitized people to olive pollen as consequence of cross-reactivity processes. Ash tree flowers in the Northwestern Spain during the winter months. The atmospheric presence of Ole e 1–like proteins (which could be related with the Fra a 1 presence) can be accurately detected using Ole e 1 antibodies. The correlation analysis showed high Spearman correlation coefficients between pollen content and rainfall (R2=−0.333, p<0.01) or allergen concentration and maximum temperature (R2=−0.271, p<0.01). In addiction CCA analysis showed not significant differences (p<0.05) between the component 1 and 2 variables. PCFA analysis plots showed that the allergen concentrations are related to the presence of the Fraxinus pollen in the air, facilitating the wind speed its submicronic allergen proteins dispersion. In order to forecast the Fraxinus allergy risk periods, two regression equations were developed with Adjusted R2 values around 0.48–0.49. The t-test for dependent samples shows no significant differences between the observed data and the estimated by the equations. The combination of the airborne pollen content and the allergen quantification must be assessed in the epidemiologic study of allergic respiratory diseases.