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Algae-induced occupational asthma in a thalassotherapist

, : Algae-induced occupational asthma in a thalassotherapist. Occupational Medicine 56(4): 282-283

Algae powders have been increasingly used in therapeutic preparations. Their potential as inducers of occupational asthma (OA), however, remains to be demonstrated. A 33-year-old woman developed asthma following exposure to algae powder used for thalassotherapy. She had positive patch tests to nickel and cobalt in an evaluation for intermittent skin rash. At work, she had a normal forced expiratory flow in 1 s (FEV(1)) but moderate airway hyperresponsiveness. Bronchial provocation tests (BPT) were obtained. On BPT, an isolated early response was observed after a 1-min inhalation of dry algae powder, with a 50% fall in FEV(1) after exposure; the control BPT with lactose powder was negative. We report a case of algae-powder-induced OA. Such responses could be due to a sensitization to algae proteins or metal contaminants bioabsorbed by the vegetal particles.


PMID: 16733258

DOI: 10.1093/occmed/kql007

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