Features of sensitization to molds and its role in development of respiratory allergic diseases

Cover Page

Cite item


Over recent decades, a steady increase in the number of allergic diseases has been shown. Current evidence demonstrate a close association between their emergence and exposure to fungal allergens. In this regard, the aim of the present study was to identify frequency and structure of sensitization to the most clinically significant molds in the patients with respiratory allergic diseases. In blood serum of 283 patients with allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma, we determined total IgE and sIgE to the mold allergens: Penicillium notatum, Cladosporium herbarum, Aspergillus fumigatus and Alternaria alternata by the ImmunoCAP method (Phadia, Sweden). Statistical analysis was carried out by nonparametric methods. The total IgE levels (420 (225.5-641) kU/l) were higher (p < 0.05) in patients with sensitization to fungal allergens than in general group (296 (129- 530) kU/l). Multiple sensitization to respiratory allergens was revealed in the patients with allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma, and sensitization to fungal allergens was associated with increasingly severe manifestations of the disease. In the patients with fungal allergies, sIgE to Alternaria alternata was most often detected (92.5%), with average level of 3.52 (0.635-19.525) kUA/l. Sixteen patients (40%) were sensitized to Aspergillus fumigatus (0.14 (0.06-0.63) kUA/l). In 19 patients (47.5%), we found increased levels of sIgE to Cladosporium herbarum (0.29 (0.045-1.005) kUA/l). Sensitization to Penicillium notatum was detected in 12 patients (30%), the sIgE levels were 0.125 (0.01-0.5) kUA/l. Detection rates in the total group of fungus-allergic patients with respiratory allergies were as follows: Penicillium notatum, 4.2%; Cladosporium herbarum, 6.7%; Aspergillus fumigatus, 5.6%; Alternaria alternata, 13.07%. We found a significant correlation (p < 0.05) between the sIgE contents to different fungal allergens. The levels of IgE antibodies to Alternaria alternata correlated with the levels of sIgE to other fungi (Aspergillus fumigates, r = 0.45; Cladosporium herbarum, r = 0.39; Penicillium notatum, r = 0.39). These findings allow us to suggest that sensitization to Alternaria alternata (13.07%) and Cladosporium herbarum (6.7%) is most common among the patients with allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma, whereas fungal sensitization aggravates clinical course of these diseases. Determination of sIgE to Alternaria alternata can serve as a marker for the presence of potential cross-sensitization to other fungal allergens, i.e., Aspergillus fumigatus, Cladosporium herbarum, and Penicillium notatum.

About the authors

V. B. Gervazieva

I. Mechnikov Research Institute for Vaccines and Sera

Email: vbger@mail.ru

PhD, MD (Medicine), Professor, Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation, Head, Laboratory of Allergodiagnostics


Russian Federation

P. V. Samoylikov

I. Mechnikov Research Institute for Vaccines and Sera

Author for correspondence.
Email: samoilikov@mail.ru

Samoylikov Pavel V., PhD (Medicine), Senior Research Associate, Laboratory of Allergodiagnostics

105064, Moscow, Maly Kasenny lane, 5a

Russian Federation

G. V. Vasilyeva

I. Mechnikov Research Institute for Vaccines and Sera

Email: galyavasileva@yandex.ru

Junior Research Associate, Laboratory of Vaccine Prophylaxis and Immune Therapy of Allergic Disorders


Russian Federation


  1. Achatz G., Oberkofler H., Lechenauer E., Simon B., Unger A., Kandler D., Ebner C., Prillinger H., Kraft D., Breitenbach M. Molecular cloning of major and minor allergens of Alternaria alternata and Cladosporium herbarum. Mol. Immunol., 1995, Vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 213-227.
  2. Asturias J.A., Ibarrola I., Ferrer A., Andreu C., Lopez-Pascual E., Quiralte J., Florido F., Martínez A. Diagnosis of Alternaria alternata sensitization with natural and recombinant Alt a 1 allergens. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol., 2005,
  3. Barnes C., Tuck J., Simon S., Pacheco F., Hu F., Portnoy J. Allergenic materials in the house dust of allergy clinic patients. Ann. Allergy Asthma Immunol., 2001, Vol. 86, no. 5, pp. 517-523.
  4. Bousquet P.J., Castelli C., Daures J.P., Heinrich J., Hooper R., Sunyer J., Wjst M., Jarvis D., Burney P. Assessment of allergen sensitization in a general population-based survey (European Community Respiratory Health Survey I). Ann. Epidemiol., 2010, Vol. 20, no. 11, pp. 797-803.
  5. Bousquet P.J., Chinn S., Janson C., Kogevinas M., Burney P., Jarvis D. Geographical variation in the prevalence of positive skin tests to environmental aeroallergens in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey I. Allergy, 2007, Vol. 62, no. 3, pp. 301-309.
  6. Crameri R., Zeller S., Glaser A.G., Vilhelmsson M., Rhyner C. Cross-reactivity among fungal allergens: a clinically relevant phenomenon? Mycoses, 2009, Vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 99-106.
  7. Denning D.W., O’Driscoll B.R., Hogaboam C.M., Bowyer P., Niven R. M. The link between fungi and severe asthma: a summary of the evidence. Eur. Respir. J., 2006, Vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 615-626.
  8. Dobrey A.N. Mold sensitivity in the allergic respiratory diseases. Can. Med. Assoc. J., 1962, Vol. 87, no. 25, pp. 1310-1313.
  9. Fung F., Tappen D., Wood G. Alternaria-associated asthma. Appl. Occup. Environ. Hyg., 2000, Vol. 15, no. 12, pp. 924-927.
  10. Gutarowska B., Wiszniewska M., Walusiak J., Piotrowska M., Pałczyński C., Zakowska Z. Exposure to moulds in flats and the prevalence of allergic diseases-preliminary study. Pol. J. Microbiol., 2005, Vol. 54 Suppl., pp. 13-20.
  11. Mari A., Schneider P., Wally V., Breitenbach M., Simon-Nobbe B. Sensitization to fungi: epidemiology, comparative skin tests, and IgE reactivity of fungal extracts. Clin. Exp. Allergy, 2003, Vol. 33, no. 10, pp. 1429-1438.
  12. Mims J.W. Epidemiology of allergic rhinitis. Int. Forum Allergy Rhinol., 2014, Suppl. 2, pp. S18-S20.
  13. Salo P.M., Jr S.J.A., Jaramillo R., Calatroni A., Weir C.H., Sever M.L., Hoppin J.A., Rose K.M., Liu A.H., Gergen P.J., Mitchell H.E., Zeldin D.C. Prevalence of allergic sensitization in the United States: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005-2006. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol., 2014, Vol. 134, no. 2, pp. 350-359.
  14. Sheehan W.J., Gaffin J.M., Peden D.B., Bush R.K., Phipatanakul W. Advances in environmental and occupational disorders in 2016. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol., 2017, Vol. 140, no. 6, pp. 1683-1692.
  15. Simon-Nobbe B., Denk U., Poll V., Rid R., Breitenbach M. The spectrum of fungal allergy. Int. Arch. Allergy Immunol., 2008, Vol. 145, no. 1, pp. 58-86.
  16. Takatori K. Fungal allergy. Fungal ecology in dwelling environments. Nippon Ishinkin Gakkai Zasshi, 2001, Vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 113-117.
  17. Twaroch T.E., Curin M., Valenta R., Swoboda I. Mold allergens in respiratory allergy: from structure to therapy allergy. Asthma Immunol. Res., 2015, Vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 205-220.
  18. Vijay H.M., Thaker A.J., Banerjee B., Kurup V.P. Mold allergens. Ed. Lockey R.F., Bukantz S.C. Allergens and allergen immunotherapy, Marcel Dekker, 1999, pp. 133-154.
  19. Wenzel S.E. Asthma: defining of the persistent adult phenotypes. Lancet, 2006, Vol. 369, no. 9537, pp. 804-813.
  20. Williams P.B., Barnes C.S., Portnoy J.M. Innate and adaptive immune response to fungal products and allergens. J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. Pract., 2016, Vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 386-395.

Supplementary files

There are no supplementary files to display.

Copyright (c) 2021 Gervazieva V.B., Samoylikov P.V., Vasilyeva G.V.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

СМИ зарегистрировано Федеральной службой по надзору в сфере связи, информационных технологий и массовых коммуникаций (Роскомнадзор).
Регистрационный номер и дата принятия решения о регистрации СМИ: серия ПИ № 77 - 11525 от 04.01.2002.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies