5 years ago

Standardised index for measuring atmospheric grass-pollen emission

Standardised index for measuring atmospheric grass-pollen emission
Grass pollen is the main cause of pollen allergy in Europe, and—given its marked allergenic potential and elevated airborne concentrations—constitutes a major public health risk. This study sought to identify the grass species triggering allergies during the highest-risk periods, and to measure the contribution of each species to airborne grass pollen concentrations. This type of research is particularly useful with a view to optimising the prevention and diagnosis of pollen allergies and developing the most effective immunological treatments. To that end, a total of 28 species potentially responsible for allergies were analysed. In order to assess the potential contribution of these species to overall airborne pollen concentrations, an index was designed (Pollen Contribution Index) based on the following parameters for each species: flowering phenology, pollen grain size (polar and equatorial axes), abundance of the species in the area and pollen production. The species contributing most to airborne pollen concentrations were, in order: Dactylis glomerata subsp. hispanica, Lolium rigidum, Trisetum paniceum and Arrhenatherum album. These species all shared certain features: small grain size (and thus greater buoyancy in air), high pollen production and considerable abundance. This Index was applied to a case study in a Mediterranean-climate area of the central Iberian Peninsula, but could equally be applied to other areas and other allergenic pollens. Findings showed that a small number of species were responsible for most airborne grass pollen.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0048969717321393

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