Science of the Total Environment
It is worth noting the allergological problems induced by a not accurate design of the ornamental vegetation in the parks and streets of the cities. Usually, in the Oleaceae family, only the olive pollen is considered an important aeroallergen but other species of the family could be an important source of airborne pollen allergens. Pollen from Fraxinus, Olea and Ligustrum and its main aeroallergens were sampled in the atmosphere of an urban area in North-Western Spain during 2011. The allergen bioaerosol content was quantified by using specific 2-site ELISA and Ole e 1 antibodies. The Fra e 1 and Lig v 1 allergens were detected by means Ole e 1 antibodies. This fact demonstrates the cross-reactivity between the main allergens of Fraxinus, Olea and Ligustrum, plants widely species used as ornamental in the cities. Therefore, the urban allergenic people sensitized to Olea pollen could present allergenic reactions during the winter (due to ash pollen allergens), the spring (caused by olive pollen allergens) and the early summer (triggered by the privet flowering). As a consequence, sensitivity to the pollen of one species may favour development of sensitivity to all three species as consequence of the priming effect. The combination of pollen count and the allergen quantification must be assessed in the epidemiologic study of allergic respiratory diseases.