Ladybug Allergies New research presented at the
American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology's 2006 Annual Meeting
in Miami Beach,
shows that Asian ladybugs, also known as Harmonia axyridis, have the
potential to cause a reaction for allergy sufferers in spring, fall
MD, at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and colleagues
were attempting to prove if Asian ladybugs could cause hypersensitivity,
and if that was the case, find out the prevalence of self-reported
ladybug allergy. The researchers delivered an anonymous survey to
ninety-nine respondents, with 50 percent saying they were allergic
to Asian ladybugs. Nineteen percent of the people reported allergy
symptoms on direct contact with ladybugs and 31 percent said they
used more allergy medication during times of Asian ladybug infestation.
said that allergy symptoms were worse during spring, fall and winter
infestation and researchers concluded that allergic patients should
limit their exposure to the Asian ladybugs but that researchers
also need to think of the creatures as a potential allergen.
to Ladybugs is Comparable to Cockroach and Cat Allergy
A additional new study conducted by David W. Goetz, MD, of Exemplar
Allergy and Asthma, Morgantown, WV, shows that Asian ladybug sensitization
is similar to cockroach allergy and can be found in people of all
reviewed about 1,400 skin tests over the years from 2001-2004. Skin-test
sensitization for Asian ladybugs was 21%. In comparison, sensitization
to cat was 24%, cockroach was 27% and dust mite was 40%. When people
had sensitization to just one allergen, 10% of the time it was for
dust mite, 6% for cockroach or Asian ladybug, and 4% for cat.
The study showed that
cockroach and ladybug have a high degree of skin-test compatibility.
Asian ladybugs also have a unique feature - they found skin sensitization
was greater in patients living in rural areas compared to those
living in the city.
Ladybugs are an Increasing Indoor Allergen
A third study on Asian ladybug allergen conducted by Takuya Nakazawa,
MD, Asthma and Allergy Center, University of Virginia, Charlottesville,
and colleagues also showed the compatibility between Asian ladybug
and cockroach allergies and that Asian ladybugs have recently become
a new indoor allergen.
with symptoms that included cough, rhinitis, conjunctivitis and
acute asthma took part in Nakazawa's study. The patients were exposed
to Asian ladybugs and had a positive skin prick test after exposure,
proving that Asian ladybugs are a possible indoor allergen. The
cross reactivity with cockroach allergens became evident after a
test that was performed showed the Asian ladybug proteins would
give a false positive result for cockroach allergens.
were presented at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Academy
of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI). The AAAAI is the largest
professional medical specialty organization in the United States
representing allergists, asthma specialists, clinical immunologists,
allied health professionals and others with a special interest in
the research and treatment of allergic disease.
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