Characterization of Patients with Allergic Rhinitis to Ragweed Pollen in Two Distinct Regions of Romania

Medicina (Kaunas). 2019 Oct 24;55(11):712. doi: 10.3390/medicina55110712.


Background and objectives: Ragweed pollen is a major source of allergen, which has rarely been observed in Romania until now. In this study, we evaluated the symptoms and associated factors in patients with allergic rhinitis to ragweed pollen in two distinct regions of Romania. Materials and Methods: We evaluated the records of patients newly diagnosed with allergic rhinitis induced by ragweed pollen in two allergological centers from North-West (NW) and Central parts of Romania between 2013 and 2015. The patients were clinically evaluated regarding disease length, presence, and severity of the allergic rhinitis symptoms and the association with other allergic manifestations (asthma and conjunctivitis). Results: The sensitization to ragweed was significantly higher in the NW part compared to the Central part (18.27% vs 4.1%, p < 0.001). More patients with monosensitization to ragweed pollen were observed in the NE center (27%) compared to the Central one (20.7%). Patients with monosensitization to ragweed pollen presented more severe forms of rhinitis (70% vs 31.5%, p = 0.02) in the NW part compared to polysensitized patients. The total symptoms score was significantly higher in patients from the Central part compared to the NW part (9.21 ± 2.01 vs 5.76 ±1.96, p < 0.001). Bronchial asthma was associated at a similar frequency to allergic rhinitis in both centers, but it was more frequently observed in monosensitized patients in the NW center. Allergic conjunctivitis was more frequently reported by patients from the Central part (75.86 vs 41.9, p = 0.02), while in the NW region it was noticed more commonly in monosensitized patients (65% vs 33.33, p = 0.02). Conclusions: Allergic rhinitis to ragweed pollen has been more frequently reported in the NW part of Romania. Patients with severe forms of rhinitis were observed in the central part, while in the NW the severe forms of disease were reported by patients with monosensitization. Ragweed pollen is intensely allergogenic and determines association of ocular and asthma symptoms. Co-sensitization increases the risk of asthma association.

Keywords: Ambrosia artemisiifolia; allergic rhinitis; asthma; ragweed; sensitization.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antigens, Plant / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rhinitis, Allergic / classification*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic / diagnosis
  • Rhinitis, Allergic / epidemiology
  • Romania / epidemiology


  • Antigens, Plant
  • Plant Extracts
  • ragweed pollen