Introduction. Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) is an invasive weed with capacity for rapid growth in many disturbed environments, whose highly allergenic pollen appears to be a significant public health problem. Ambrosia is now recognized to have a significant contribution to increased risk of air pollution and of respiratory diseases in urban environment.
The aim of our study was to evaluate clinical aspects and risk factors of patients diagnosed with respiratory allergies due to Ambrosia pollen, addressed to our Allergy center from Bucharest, Romania.
Material and methods. We performed a retrospective study of patients confirmed with allergy to Ambrosia pollen for a period of 33 months, between January 2017 – October 2019.
Results. From a total number of 760 patients addressed for respiratory symptoms, 184 patients (24.21%) were diagnosed with clinical allergy due to Ambrosia pollen, based on clinical picture and specific serologic or skin tests. The clinical forms were seasonal allergic rhinitis in 42 cases, seasonal rhino-conjunctivitis in 65 cases, rhino-sinusitis in 49 cases and rhinitis complicated with allergic asthma in 28 cases. Moderate and severe clinical forms, according to symptoms scores, were recorded in 147 cases (79.89%). History of atopy was found in 22 patients (11.95%). Almost all patients have admitted environmental exposure to the plant Ambrosia, either at home or at the working place. The mean duration from symptoms onset until presentation to allergist consultation was 3.2 years.
Conclusions. Our data confirm the serious and increasing burden of respiratory allergies due to Ambrosia pollen in clinical practice.
Keywords: Ambrosia pollen, clinical pattern, respiratory allergies, risk factors.
Address for correspondence:
Polliana M. LERU
Colentina Clinical Hospital, Internal Medicine Department
Address: Stefan cel Mare Ave., no. 19-21, District 2, 020125, Bucharest, Romania
E-mail: email@example.com, Phone +40 213 118 008