Background: Artemisia pollen allergy is a major cause of asthma in Northern China. Possible associations between IgE responses to Artemisia allergen components and clinical phenotypes have not yet been evaluated. This study was to establish sensitization patterns of four Artemisia allergens and possible associations with demographic characteristics and clinical phenotypes in three areas of China.
Methods: Two hundred and forty patients allergic to Artemisia pollen were examined, 178 from Shanxi and 30 from Shandong Provinces in Northern China, and 32 from Yunnan Province in Southwestern China. Allergic asthma, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and eczema symptoms were diagnosed. All patients sera were tested by ImmunoCAP with mugwort pollen extract and the natural components nArt v 1, nArt ar 2, nArt v 3, and nArt an 7.
Results: The frequency of sensitization and the IgE levels of the four components in Artemisia allergic patients from Southwestern China were significantly lower than in those from the North. Art v 1 and Art an 7 were the most frequently recognized allergens (84% and 87%, respectively), followed by Art v 3 (66%) and Art ar 2 (48%). Patients from Northern China were more likely to have allergic asthma (50%) than patients from Southwestern China (3%), and being sensitized to more than two allergens increased the risk of allergic asthma, in which cosensitization to three major allergens Art v 1, Art v 3, and Art an 7 is prominent.
Conclusions: Componentresolved diagnosis of Chinese Artemisia pollenallergic patients helps assess the potential risk of mugwortassociated allergic asthma.