8 Scopus citations


The drivers affecting the Pollen Allergen Potency (PAP, amount of allergen released per pollen) are sparsely known. Betula and Poaceae airborne pollen are the two main allergenic pollen in the World. Airborne pollen and their allergens Bet v 1 and Phl p 5 were simultaneously measured from 2010 to 2015 in Davos (Switzerland) and Munich (Germany) by using volumetric traps and ChemVol cascade impactors. Daily variations in PAP were analysed in PM>10 and PM2.5-10 air fractions and generalized additive models were created to explain which factors determine PAP, including meteorological parameters and inorganic pollutants. 87.1 ± 13.9% of Bet v 1 and 88.8 ± 15.5% of Phl p 5 was detected in the fraction PM>10 where most pollen grains were collected. Significantly higher PAP for grasses (3.5 ± 1.9 pg Phl p 5/pollen grain) were observed in Munich than in Davos (2.4 ± 1.5 pg/pollen grain, p < 0.001), but not for Betula (2.5 ± 1.6 pg Bet v 1/pollen grain in Munich and 2.3 ± 1.7 in Davos, N.S.). PAP varied between days, years and location, and increased along the pollen season for Poaceae, but remaining constant for Betula. Free allergens (allergens observed in the fraction with limited pollen, PM2.5- 10) were recorded mostly at the beginning or at the end of the pollen season, being linked to higher humidity and rainy days. Also, PAP was higher when the airborne pollen concentrations increased rapidly after one day of low/moderate levels. Our findings show that pollen exposure explains allergen exposure only to a limited extend, and that day in the season, geographic location and some weather conditions need to be considered also to explain symptoms of allergic individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113987
JournalEnvironmental Research
StatePublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Allergenicity drivers
  • Allergens
  • Bet v 1
  • Phl p 5
  • Pollen allergen potency
  • Pollutants


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