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The Scandinavian Society for Immunology (SSI) includes the national immunological societies of the 5 Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. SSI has currently >1000 members.


Selected articles October 2014:

Allergy to flowers, a potential problem for florists


Occupational Allergy to Flowers: Immunoblot Analysis of Allergens in Freesia, Gerbera and Chrysanthemum Pollen


Albert van Toorenenbergen


In the present report by retired clinical chemist Albert van Toorenenbergen the IgE response towards decorative flowers was studied. The author describes the pattern of IgE binding to allergens in freesia, gerbera and chrysanthemum pollen. It is concluded that occupational exposure to many different flowers can induce IgE against these flowers.


Before my retirement as a clinical chemist I supervised the routine analysis of specific IgE antibodies. Clinicians in the Department of Allergy occasionally asked for allergen-specific IgE tests, that were not commercially available, Albert van Toorenenbergen, says.


For the purpose, a CNBr-activated Sepharose bead procedure for preparation of solid-phase allergen extracts was used. With this procedure tests for IgE against pollen from some decorative flowers, sweet bell pepper pollen, and more, were set up.


Shortly before my retirement I realized that I had not yet published such experiments for pollen from some decorative flowers, performed earlier, and decided to write the present paper.


In the paper, sera were obtained from patients with symptoms associated with their occupational handling of flowers; they worked in greenhouses or florist shops, and one was a student at a florist school. With the limited number of sera tested, cross-reactivity between mugwort pollen and pollen from freesia, gerbera and chrysanthemum pollen was found.


I find the demonstration of IgE against rare allergens an exciting aspect of work like this, Albert van Toorenenbergen says.


The diagnosis of an IgE-mediated allergy to decorative flowers drove one of the patients to drop out of florist school and one to stop working in a florist shop.






Gut microbiota of the mother is important for the immunological status of the offspring


Antibiotic Treatment of Pregnant Non-Obese Diabetic Mice Leads to Altered Gut Microbiota and Intestinal Immunological Changes in the Offspring


N. Tormo-Badia, Å. Håkansson, K. Vasudevan, G. Molin , S. Ahrné and C.M. Cilio


Alteration of the maternal gut microbiota during pregnancy permanently alter the gut microbiota in the offspring, is shown by Neivis Tormo Badia and co-workers in a study published in the October Issue of the Scandinavian Journal of Immunology. This seems to be important for the establishment of tolerance, ultimately modulating the development of diabetes in the offspring.


In an earlier human prospective study, it was shown that children with type 1 diabetes had a decreased percentage of Firmicutes, whereas species belonging to Bacteriodetes was increased in the same children. Because of this link between the gut microbiota and type 1 diabetes, the authors wanted to investigate the effect of antibiotic treatment during pregnancy. To this end, female NOD mice was treated during gestation with a mix of broad spectrum antibiotics. The offspring was thereafter examined for immunological status, alterations in the gut microbiota and diabetes development.


Neivis Tormo Badia was a PhD student in the group at Lund University and did the practical work with the animal model as well as analysis and interpretation of the results.


Because of the clinical relevance in our hypothesis it was very exciting to analyse the results of the study and to find out whether the data fits with our hypothesis that antibiotics treatment during pregnancy would affect the outcome of diabetes development, she says.


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