Chapter

Identifying a novel cause of occupational allergy

Paul Cullinan and Anthony Newman Taylor

in Landmark Papers in Allergy

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780199651559
Published online April 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754241 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199651559.003.0040

Series: Landmark Papers

Identifying a novel cause of occupational allergy

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  • Immunology
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An investigation was made of chest illness among certain workers in a factory using a preparation containing proteolytic enzyme derived from Bacillus subtilis in the manufacture of detergent products. There had been asthmatic manifestations in some individuals and in others there were symptoms suggestive of a more peripheral pulmonary reaction. Although primary irritant effects may have occurred, the severe and sometimes prolonged breathless attacks in most of those investigated were thought to have been due to allergic mechanisms. Supporting evidence of allergy to the enzyme was obtained from immediate and late reactions to inhalation and skin-prick tests. Serum-precipitins were present in some of the affected individuals and also in unexposed controls. The findings indicate that, in addition to causing acute illness, inhalation of this material may lead to irreversible impairment of lung function, and that insidious lung damage could occur without episodes of overt illness. Rigorous preventive measures are therefore recommended.

Chapter.  1265 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology ; Immunology ; Respiratory Medicine and Pulmonology

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