Impact of urban air pollution on the allergenicity of Aspergillus fumigatus conidia: Outdoor exposure study supported by laboratory experiments

Naama Lang-Yona , Timor Shuster-Meiseles , Yinon Mazar , Oded Yarden , Yinon Rudich


Understanding the chemical interactions of common allergens in urban environments may help to decipher the general increase in susceptibility to allergies observed in recent decades. In this study, asexual conidia of the allergenic mold Aspergillus fumigatus were exposed to air pollution under natural (ambient) and controlled (laboratory) conditions. The allergenic activity was measured using two immunoassays and supported by a protein mass spectrometry analysis. The allergenicity of the conidia was found to increase by 2–5 fold compared to the control for short exposure times of up to 12 h (accumulated exposure of about 50 ppb NO2 and 750 ppb O3), possibly due to nitration. At higher exposure times, the allergenicity increase lessened due to protein deamidation. These results indicate that during the first 12 h of exposure, the allergenic potency of the fungal allergen A. fumigatus in polluted urban environments is expected to increase. Additional work is needed in order to determine if this behavior occurs for other allergen

Source: nbsp; Science of the Total Environment 541 (2016) 365–371