Bakers' asthma: prevalence and evaluation of immunotherapy with a wheat flour extract

Ann Allergy. 1990 Oct;65(4):265-72.


One hundred thirty-nine bakers and pastry cooks were included in a prevalence study of IgE-mediated hypersensitivity to wheat flour demonstrated by skin tests, specific IgE to wheat flour (RAST), and inhalation challenge. From the sensitized workers, we selected 30 asthmatic patients. Twenty patients were treated with a standardized wheat flour extract, and ten with a placebo in a double-blind clinical trial. Before and after immunotherapy we performed tests in vivo (skin tests with wheat flour and methacholine tests), and in vitro (total IgE and specific IgE to wheat flour). We found substantial prevalence of wheat flour allergy (25.17% of workers), and a significant decrease (P less than .001) in hyperresponsiveness to methacholine, skin sensitivity (P = .002), and specific IgE (P less than .005) to wheat flour after 20 months of immunotherapy. There was also significant subjective improvement (P less than .001). The placebo group showed no changes in these variables.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Asthma / epidemiology
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / analysis
  • Immunotherapy
  • Occupational Diseases / immunology
  • Occupational Diseases / therapy
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Radioallergosorbent Test
  • Skin Tests
  • Spain
  • Triticum


  • Plant Extracts
  • Immunoglobulin E