Current glimpse of airborne allergenic pollen in Indian subcontinent

Kavita Ghosal, Swati Gupta-Bhattacharya


Respiratory allergic diseases such as bronchial asthma, rhinitis, urticaria, atopic dermatitis have been steadily increasing all over the world, including India. Owing to its alarming trend, several aerobiological surveys have been undertaken in different parts of India to delineate the variety of pollen and spore load. In this review, we have reported the current state of aerobiological knowladge in India with particular reference to allergenic airborn pollen occurence in 2001–2015. Pollen have been found to contribute a significant proportion in the air and caused allergy symptoms in the local inhabitants. Aerobiological records, a questionnaire survey and hospitalization records have been employed for the analysis. Holoptelea integrifolia, Amaranthus spinosus in northern region, Sorghum vulgare, Pennisetum, Gynandropsis gynandra, Parthenium hysterophorus, Dolichandrone platycalyx in southern regions, and Parthenium hysterophorus from the western region; Cynodon dactylon, Cenchrus ciliaris in the central area; Acacia auriculiformis, Cleome gynandra, Catharanthus roseus, Phoenix sylvestris, Areca catechu, and Lantana camara in the eastern regions as potential aeroallergens in India. The statistical approach confirmed the correlation between hospitalization rate associated with allergy-related health troubles and the prevalent allergenic pollen in the air. The Poaceae group has been found to be dominant throughout India. Immuno-biochemical studies identified various protein with allergenic potential found in the pollen recorded. Epitope identification and homology of the major allergenic protein Cat r1 of Catharanthus sp and Par j 1 of Parietaria judaica have been found. Identification of allergenic pollen grains and the modern approach concerning cross-reactivity and epitope revelation of dominant airborne pollen have important clinical implications for the prevention, diagnosis and treatments of allergic diseases in India.


aeroallergen; pollen; SPT; ELISA; SDS-PAGE; IgE specific immuno-blot; hospitalization

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