Does Airborne Pollen Influence COVID-19 Outbreak?

Sustain Cities Soc. 2021 Mar 27;70:102887. doi: 10.1016/j.scs.2021.102887. Online ahead of print.


The fast spread of SARS-CoV-2 presented a worldwide challenge to public health, economy, and educational system affecting human society's welfare. With high transmission rates and increasing evidence of COVID-19 spread via bioaerosols. The current review was conducted to examine airborne pollens impact on COVID-19 transmission and to identify the major gaps for post-pandemic research. The study used all key terms to identify revenant literature and observation were collated for the current research. Based on the existing literature, there is a potential association between pollen bioaerosols and COVID-19. There are few studies focusing on the impact of airborne pollen on SARS-CoV-2, which could be useful to advance future research. Allergic rhinitis and asthma patients were found to have pre-modified immune activation, which could help to provide protection against COVID-19. However, does airborne pollen acts as a potent carrier for SARS-CoV-2 transport, dispersal and its proliferation still require further multidisciplinary research. Further, a clear conclusion cannot be drawn due to limited evidence and hence more research is needed to show how pollen bioaerosols could affect virus survivals. The small but growing literature review focuses on searching for every possible answer to provide additional security layers to overcome near future corona-like infectious diseases.

Keywords: AAAAI, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; ACE-2, Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2; ARDS, Acute respiratory distress syndrome; Airborne pollen; Allergic rhinitis; Asthma; Bioaerosols; CCDC, Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention; CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases; COVID-19; ERS, European Respiratory Society; FLI, flu-like illnesses; GINA, Global Initiative for Asthma; H1N1, Influenza A virus subtype H1N1; H5N1, avian influenza virus; IgE, Immunoglobulin E; LDT, Long-distance transport; MERS, Middle East respiratory syndrome; NHC, National Health Commission; RSV, Respiratory Syncytial Virus infection; SARS-CoV-2, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2; Virus; WAO, World Allergy Organisation; WHO, World Health Organization.