Kosin Med J.  2019 Dec;34(2):126-137. 10.7180/kmj.2019.34.2.126.

Tree Pollen Sensitization and Cross-Reaction of Children with Allergic Rhinitis or Asthma

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Busan St. Mary's Hospital, Busan, Korea. hyh190@naver.com


Tree pollen causes allergic rhinitis and asthma. We investigated children who diagnosed as rhinitis or asthma, living in Busan, for tree allergen sensitization, component allergen, oral allergy syndrome, and the relationship between pollen counts and allergen sensitization.
Pollen were collected in Busan, from January 1 to December 31, 2017, using a Rotorod sampler and enumerated using a microscope. We conducted a study of children with rhinitis or asthma at Busan St. Mary's Hospital in 2017, administered an ISAAC questionnaire, and an oral allergy syndrome survey. Serum specific Ig E tests were performed.
Among the 57 patients, the mean age was 9.3 years. The pollen counts in decreasing order were as follows: pine, alder, oak, juniper, beech, ginkgo, and birch. For sensitization, birch and alder 35.1%, Japanese cedar 19.3%, juniper 17.5%, pine 10.5%, and Japanese cypress 8.2%. The component Ig E was tested in 27 patients. Bet v 1 had a high correlation with birch, alder, and peach. Bet v 2 showed a statistically significant correlation with all tree pollen except cypress. Bet v 4 did not have any apparent correlation. Bet v 6 had the same pattern as Bet v 2, but correlation coefficient was higher than that of Bet v 2. Oral allergy syndrome was noted in 7 patients, including peach, peanut, apple, tomato, kiwi, and sesame.
Alder and juniper are clinically important tree pollens in Busan. These pollens cause sensitization to birch and Japanese cedar by cross-reaction.


Allergy; Busan; Pollen

MeSH Terms

Asian Continental Ancestry Group
Ginkgo biloba
Lycopersicon esculentum
Prunus persica
Rhinitis, Allergic*


  • Fig. 1 Monthly pollen in Busan (2017)

  • Fig. 2 The sensitization rates of the patients

  • Fig. 3 The correlation of specific Ig E between alder and birch (A), juniper and Japanese cedar (B)


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