methods of dispersion within the space determined, and factors that may aid in removal evaluated. Once sources have been identified, sampling strategies that allow some estimation of exposure can be devised.

Monitoring for Indoor Allergens

GENERAL PRINCIPLES

Monitoring for allergens can help determine the cause of one or more cases of allergic disease (in which instance, sampling and analysis modes that yield information on the range of possible organisms must be chosen) or characterize environments with respect to specific allergens. Measurements can be semiquantitative (e.g., ''presence or absence" or "low, medium, or high"); or, alternatively, modes can be chosen for sampling and analysis that will give accurate, precise documentation for a specific population regarding a more or less well-defined allergen.

Although monoclonal antibody immunoassays measure specific allergens, most allergen monitoring includes sampling for indicators rather than the actual aerosolized allergen. Table 6-1 is a list of aeroallergens and commonly used indicators. In developing a sampling strategy to collect the data for testing a particular hypothesis, important decisions must be made on where, when, and how to sample.

Where to Sample

The majority of allergen samples are collected either from ambient air in one or more environments or from potential allergen reservoirs. Ambient

TABLE 6-1 Aeroallergens and Sampling/Analysis Modes

Common Name

Aeroallergen

Indicators

Sample

Analysis

Thermophilic actinomycetes

Glycoproteins

Living cells

Air, bulk

Culture

Molds

Glycoproteins

Living cells

Spores

Antigens

Air, bulk

Culture

Microscopy

Immunoassay

Arthropods

Glycoproteins

Antigens

Whole animals

Guanine

Bulk

Bulk

Bulk

Immunoassay

Microscopy

Chemistry

Mammals

Glycoproteins

Antigens

Air, bulk

Immunoassay

Pollen

Glycoproteins

Pollen grains

Antigens

Air

Bulk

Microscopy

Immunoassay



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