Occupational asthma caused by sewer flies

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1985 Jun;131(6):949-52. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1985.131.6.949.


Insect emanations occasionally cause allergic asthma, which not infrequently is due to occupational exposures. This second report of asthma caused by sewer flies, Psychoda alternata, concerns a sewage plant worker who previously had developed immediate-type hypersensitivity to wax moths. Evidence for sewer fly allergy was derived from direct prick and intracutaneous skin tests, Prausnitz-Kustner testing, in vitro leukocyte histamine release, ELISA, and bronchial provocative challenge. The ELISA inhibition tests indicated little cross-reactivity between sewer fly and wax moth extract or midge hemoglobin, but direct skin testing suggested possible hypersensitivity to other families of the order Diptera.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Bronchial Provocation Tests
  • Bronchodilator Agents / therapeutic use
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Techniques
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases*
  • Psychodidae / immunology*
  • Skin Tests
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid


  • Bronchodilator Agents