Occupational asthma caused by exposure to bats (Chiroptera)

R. Spiewak1,2, S.G.O. Johansson3, B. Wüthrich1

1Allergiestation, Dermatologische Klinik Zürich,
2Department of Aerobiology and Allergology, Institute of Agricultural Medicine, Lublin,
3Department of Clinical Immunology, Karolinska Hospital Stockholm

Source: Spiewak R, Johansson SGO, Wüthrich B. Berufsbedingtes Asthma auf Fledermäuse (Chiropteren). Allergologie 1996; 19 (11): 509-511.


Abstract: We describe a 31 years-old atopic patient, in whom after occupational exposure to Chiroptera bronchial asthma developed. The performed tests (skin test and RAST with bat allergens) confirmed the presence of an lgE-dependent allergic reaction to bat allergens. While the patient, as an engaged scientist, was not able to abandon the contact with Chiroptera, a specific immunotherapy with bat allergen extracts was undertaken. After one year of the therapy the patient had no more symptoms at contact to the Chiroptera.

Key words: allergic asthma, occupational respiratory diseases, occupational exposure, speleology, wild animals, Chiroptera, bats, biohazards, IgE, rush-immunotherapy.

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Fig. 1. Scratch test results with bat hair and dust.

A moderate skin reaction to bat hairs and a strong reaction to bat dust.

Fig. 2. The bats Myotiz myotiz.

A couple of bats.

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