Author(s): Demir AU, Karakaya G, Kalyoncu AF
BACKGROUND: Turkey is one of the four major producers of rose. Cultivation of rose is the main economic activity of many villagers in the Lakes region. Rose allergy has not been reported before. We investigated the prevalence of allergy symptoms and specific-IgE immune response due to rose in villagers who had been cultivating rose in Güneykent village in the Lakes region. METHODS: A screening questionnaire including respiratory and allergic symptoms was administered to 290 villagers. The investigation team visited and studied 75 randomly selected villagers with an interviewer-administered questionnaire, pulmonary function testing, skin prick testing and serum total IgE. Specific IgE against Rosa rugosa was measured in 41 villagers. RESULTS: Villagers reported asthma/allergy symptoms outside the rose season (17.6%), during the rose season (6.2%), and both during the rose season and outside the rose season (whole the year) (17.6%). Atopy and specific IgE against Rosa rugosa were detected in 12 (19%), and 8 (19.5%) of the villagers tested. Villagers who had symptoms whole the year reported wheeze more frequently than those who reported symptoms only outside the rose season (41.2% vs 11.1%). CONCLUSIONS: IgE-mediated allergy could occur due to rose and/or its pollen. Symptoms mainly affect the upper airways. Further studies in the rose handlers, florists and workers of the rose industry would help elucidate the occurrence of rose allergy.