University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Isolating the species element in grass pollen allergy: A review

Frisk, Carl ORCID:, Adams-Groom, Beverley ORCID: and Smith, Matt ORCID: (2023) Isolating the species element in grass pollen allergy: A review. Science of the Total Environment, 883 (163661). ISSN Print: 0048-9697 Online: 1879-1026

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Grass pollen is a leading cause of allergy in many countries, particularly Europe. Although many elements of grass pollen production and dispersal are quite well researched, gaps still remain around the grass species that are predominant in the air and which of those are most likely to trigger allergy. In this comprehensive review we isolate the species aspect in grass pollen allergy by exploring the interdisciplinary interdependencies between plant ecology, public health, aerobiology, reproductive phenology and molecular ecology. We further identify current research gaps and provide open ended questions and recommendations for future research in an effort to focus the research community to develop novel strategies to combat grass pollen allergy. We emphasise the role of separating temperate and subtropical grasses, identified through divergence in evolutionary history, climate adaptations and flowering times. However, allergen cross-reactivity and the degree of IgE connectivity in sufferers between the two groups remains an area of active research. The importance of future research to identify allergen homology through biomolecular similarity and the connection to species taxonomy and practical implications of this to allergenicity is further emphasised. We also discuss the relevance of eDNA and molecular ecological techniques (DNA metabarcoding, qPCR and ELISA) as important tools in quantifying the connection between the biosphere with the atmosphere. By gaining more understanding of the connection between species-specific atmospheric eDNA and flowering phenology we will further elucidate the importance of species in releasing grass pollen and allergens to the atmosphere and their individual role in grass pollen allergy.

Item Type: Article
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© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Aerobiology, Allergens, Bioaerosols, eDNA, Flowering, Poaceae
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Science and the Environment
Depositing User: Miranda Jones
Date Deposited: 03 May 2023 08:45
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 09:29

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