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Assessment of sensitivity to common aeroallergens in a Tunisian population

Allergic diseases are common in clinical practice and are considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an important health problem (Liu et al. 2010).Worldwide, about 500 million people are affected (15%) with a prevalence of 20-30% in developed countries (Laaidi et al. 2009). This study aimed to identify the major aeroallergens and their prevalence in a population of patients living in a polluted oasis situated in the southwest of Tunisia. A total of 67 patients were admitted to the Department of Pneumology and Oto-rhino-laryngology at Gafsa Hospital between August 2007 and September 2008. They were invited to a health examination including skin-prick test, blood sampling and assessment of specific IgE to several common aeroallergens. Of the 67 patients, only 39 were sensitive to allergens (58.20%), 23 of whom were sensitive to more than one type of allergen (58.97%). The most common aeroallergens were tree and grass pollen (32.96%), followed by animal dander (19.78%), mites (17.58%), herbaceous pollen (12.08%), mould (6.59%), latex (6.59%) and cockroaches (4.39%).

Although this study was limited to a modest target population of patients, we did observe significant results that highlight the most frequently detected allergens in the region of Gafsa. These results are in agreement with reports from other studies conducted in other areas.


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    Liu ZG, Song JJ, Kong XL: A Study on Pollen Allergens in China. Biomedical and Environmental Sciences. 2010, 23: 319-322. 10.1016/S0895-3988(10)60070-0.

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    Laaidi M, Laaidi K, Besancenot JP: Synergie entre pollens et polluants chimiques de l’air: les risques croisés. Environnement, Risques et Sante. 2002, 1: 42-9.

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Correspondence to Saleh Alwasel.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Alwasel, S. Assessment of sensitivity to common aeroallergens in a Tunisian population. World Allergy Organ J 8, A255 (2015).

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