The Relevance of Pollen and Fungal Spores in Allergic Diseases

Pollen and fungal spores are associated with seasonal and perennial allergies. However, most scientific literature thus far suggests that pollen allergy is more clinically relevant than fungal allergy. Several environmental and biological factors and the difficulty in producing reliable fungal extracts account for this. Biodiversity, taxonomy, and meteorology are responsible for the types and levels of pollen and fungal spores, their fragments, and the presence of free airborne allergens. Therefore, it is difficult to accurately measure both pollen and fungal allergen exposure.  In addition, understanding the enzymatic nature of fungal and some pollen allergens, the presence of allergenic and non-allergenic substances that may modulate the allergic immune response, and allergen cross-reactivity, are all necessary to appropriately evaluate both sensitivity and exposure to pollen and fungal spores.. The raw materials and manufacturing processes used to prepare pollen versus fungal extracts differ, further increasing the complexity to properly determine allergic sensitivity and degrees of exposure to pollen and fungal spores.  The pollen extracts used for diagnosis and treatment are relatively consistent, and some have been standardized. However, obtaining clinically relevant fungal extracts is more difficult. Doing so will allow for the proper selection of such extracts to more appropriately diagnose and treat both pollen- and fungal-induced allergic diseases.

Pollen versus spores
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