Sensitization to Castanea sativa pollen and pollinosis in northern Extremadura (Spain)

P. M. Cosmes Martín, A. Moreno Ancillo, C. Domínguez Noche, A. Gutiérrez Vivas, J. Belmonte Soler, J. M. Roure Nolla

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Background: Castanea sativa pollen allergy has generally been considered to be uncommon and clinically insignificant. In our geographical area (Plasencia, Cáceres, Spain) Castanea sativa pollen is a major pollen. Objective: To determine the atmospheric fluctuations and prevalence of patients sensitized to Castanea pollen in our region and to compare this sensitization with sensitizations to other pollens. Methods: Patients with respiratory symptoms attending our outpatient clinic for the first time in 2003 were studied. The patients underwent skin prick tests with commercial extracts of a battery of inhalants including Castanea sativa pollen. Serologic specific IgE to Castanea sativa pollen was determined using the CAP system (Pharmacia & Upjohn, Uppsala, Sweden). Airborne pollen counts in our city were obtained using Cour collection apparatus over a 4-year period (2000 to 2003). Results: The most predominant pollens detected were (mean of the maximal weekly concentrations over 4 years in pollen grains/m3): Quercus 968, Poacea 660, Olea 325, Platanus 229, Pinus 126, Cupresaceae 117, Plantago 109, Alnus 41, Populus 40, Castanea 32. We studied 346 patients (mean age: 24.1 years). In 210 patients with a diagnosis of pollinosis, the percentages of sensitization were: Dactylis glomerata 80.4%, Olea europea 71.9%, Fraxinus excelsior 68%, Plantago lanceolata 62.8%, Chenopodium album 60.9%, Robinia pseudoacacia 49%, Artemisia vulgaris 43.8%, Platanus acerifolia 36.6%, Parietaria judaica 36.1%, Populus nigra 32.3%, Betula alba 27.6%, Quercus ilex 21.4%, Alnus glutinosa 20.9%, Cupressus arizonica 7.6% and Castanea sativa 7.1%. Fifteen patients were sensitized to Castanea sativa and 14 had seasonal rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma. Ten patients had serum specific IgE to Castanea pollen (maximum value: 17.4 Ku/l). Castanea pollen is present in our area in large amounts from the 23rd to the 28th weeks of the year, with a peak pollen count in the 25th week. Conclusions: The most important allergenic pollens in northern Extremadura were Poaceae, Olea europaea and Plantago sp. The prevalence of sensitization to Castanea sativa pollen was very low (7.1%). Most sensitized patients had asthma and polysensitization. Castanea sativa pollen is not a major cause of pollinosis in our area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-150
JournalAllergologia et Immunopathologia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005


  • Aerobiology
  • Castanea sativa
  • Castanea sativa pollen
  • Chestnut tree
  • Pollinosis


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