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  Substance Info: (and synonyms)
Mountain Cedar tree / Mountain Juniper tree

Background Info:

Family: Cupressaceae.
Mountain juniper is a large, many-stemmed shrub or a small tree, up to about 6 metres. In contrast to other members of the large conifer family, Cupressaceae, noted for their attractive foliage in shades of green, yellow and blue-grey, it grows at a snail's pace. It has persistent, aromatic leaves and its reddish brown wood makes for long-lasting exteriors. It occurs in rocky soils in canyons, ravines, around rim-rocks and breaks and can live as long as 2 000 years.

The genus Juniperus is widely distributed in the northern hemisphere. Mountain juniper is native in south-western North America, and is particularly common in Texas. It colonises grasslands and becomes a pest.

In the USA, Mountain cedar is a major cause of seasonal allergy in the South-West and Texas. In Europe, this species is present only in the Balkan peninsula and Crimean mountains. (Hrabina 2003 ref.8294 7)

Mountain juniper flowers in winter (December and January). Male pollens and female flowers occur on different trees. Most species of Juniper produce copious amounts of pollen that can be carried long distances by the wind. Juniper is the most significant allergenic offender in the Cypress family.

Mountain juniper tree, Italian funeral cypress tree and Arizona cypress tree belong to the same botanical family of Cupressaceae.

While Italian Funeral Cypress tree and Arizona Cypress are commonly encountered in Mediterranean regions, Mountain cedar is only present in Europe in the Balkans, and is a major cause of allergy in the USA. (Andre 2000 ref.4491 4)

Juniperus ashei (mountain cedar) is the leading cause of respiratory allergy in South Texas. (Schwietz 2000 ref.4701 3)

 

Adverse Reactions:

IMMUNE REACTIONS


[ 1 / 7 ]

The PR-5 family of thaumatin-like proteins has been identified with in vitro cross-reactivity between mountain cedar’s Jun a 3 allergen and cherry (Pru av 2), apple (Mal d 2), and paprika or bell pepper (P23) and therefore may result in symptoms of oral allergy syndrome in patients sensitised to mountain cedar tree (Jun a 3). (Webber 2010 ref.24758 7)

Reference:
Webber CM, England RW. Oral allergy syndrome: a clinical, diagnostic, and therapeutic challenge. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2010 Feb;104(2):101-108



[ 2 / 7 ]

Allergy to cypress pollen was put forward for the first time by Black in 1929 (Black 1929 ref.25251 5), who demonstrated the role of mountain cedar (Juniperus sabinoides) pollen in the induction of hay fever in Texas and southern states of North America. Since then, cypress-cedar pollen allergy has been reported in numerous countries located in various geographical areas such as South Africa (Ordman 1945 ref.9504 2), Australia (Pham 1994 ref.151 37), France (Panzani 1986 ref.25252 7), Italy (Italian 2002 ref.9477 0), Spain (Subiza 1995 ref.4585 7), Marrocco (Afif 2006 ref.16018 8), Israel (Geller-Bernstein 2000 ref.3751 7), Albania (Priftanji 2000 ref.11986 0), Greece (Gioulekas 2004 ref.8930 4), Turkey (Sin 2008 ref.21471 8), Iran (Shahali 2009 ref.23704 7), and Japan (Ishizaki 1987 ref.11996 3) and is currently known as an increasing cause of pollinosis worldwide. (Charpin 2005 ref.11263 9) However, the underestimation of the real prevalence of cypress allergy is still a matter of concern. This fact could be partly explained by 1) the lack of satisfactory diagnostic extracts) the influence of environmental and anthropogenic factors on pollen allergenic properties) the overlapping of symptoms with those induced by common winter diseases, and 4) the presence in the atmosphere of submicronic vectors of allergens originated from the cypress pollen sac called orbicules. (In: Shahali 2010 ref.25185 5)

Reference:
Shahali Y, Sutra JP, Peltre G, Charpin D, Sénéchal H, Poncet P. IgE reactivity to common cypress (C. sempervirens) pollen extracts: evidence for novel allergens. WAO Journal 2010;3(8):229-234



[ 3 / 7 ]

Cypress pollen allergy is a major cause of rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma in the Mediterranean area. The role of cypress pollen allergy in upper respiratory tract diseases has often been underestimated because of winter pollination of cypress trees (and the lack of efficacy of nonstandardized extracts for diagnosis. (Hrabina 2003 ref.8294 7)

Reference:
Ramirez DA. The natural history of mountain cedar pollinosis. Allerg Immunol (Paris) 2000;32(3):86-91



[ 4 / 7 ]

Cedar pollen causes asthma, allergic rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis. A high degree of cross-reactivity could be expected among the different species of the family Cupressaceae. In Europe, juniper (J. communis) seldom causes sensitisation in atopics.

The flowering season of mountain juniper is closely related to the serious type of winter hay fever especially pronounced in Texas, USA. It has been suggested that J. sabinoides causes allergic reactions in patients with no other sensitivities because of its chemical composition.

During the winter months, pollen from the mountain cedar causes severe respiratory tract allergy in central Texas, where 34 % of allergic patients were found to be allergic only to mountain juniper and 66% were allergic to mountain juniper and other aeroallergens. Sensitised individuals appear to require much longer exposure to juniper pollen before developing mountain juniper pollinosis, and they develop allergic disease at a later age (39 yr) when compared to patients with multiple allergies. These results suggest that the mountain juniper pollen may be unique in causing allergic rhinitis in patients who have no other sensitivities. A possible explanation may lie in the carbohydrate nature of the main allergen of the mountain juniper pollen, which may facilitate allergen transport through the respiratory tract mucosa and subsequent sensitization. (Ramirez 2000 ref.4492 6)

Reference:
Ramirez DA. The natural history of mountain cedar pollinosis. Allerg Immunol (Paris) 2000;32(3):86-91



[ 5 / 7 ]

Increased planting of cypress trees for ornamental purposes has probably contributed to the increased prevalence of sensitisation to cypress pollen which is the third most sensitising allergen source after mites and grass pollens in South-East France. (Charpin 2000 ref.3752 2)

Reference:
Charpin D Epidemiology of cypress allergy. Allerg Immunol (Paris) 2000;32(3):83-5



[ 6 / 7 ]

Cutaneous symptoms include immediate wheal-and-flare reactions and delayed bite papules, which tend to be more severe at the onset of the mosquito season. Systemic reactions to mosquito bites are, however, very rare. Recent immunoblot studies have demonstrated IgE antibodies to Aedes communis mosquito saliva 22 and 36 kD proteins. This confirms that specific sensitization occurs in man and indicates that mosquito-bite whealing is a classic type I allergic reaction. The delayed mosquito-bite papules seem to be cutaneous late-phase reactions mediated by eosinophils or they could also represent type IV lymphocyte-mediated immune reactions. People living in heavily infested areas such as Lapland frequently acquire tolerance to mosquito bites, and seem to have negligible levels of IgE but high amounts of IgG4 antisaliva antibodies. (Reunala 1994 ref.27691 5)

Reference:
Reunala T, Brummer-Korvenkontio H, Palosuo T. Are we really allergic to mosquito bites? Ann Med 1994 Aug;26(4):301-6.



[ 7 / 7 ]

During the winter months, pollen from the mountain cedar (MC) (Juniperus sabinoides) causes severe respiratory tract allergy in central Texas. Significantly, the authors noted that many of the Mountain Cedar-allergic patients had only allergic rhinitis and were only sensitive to Mountain Cedar pollen. A study of 234 unselected Mountain Cedar-allergic patients at the end of the Mountain Cedar season was studied. Thirty-four percent of patients were found to be allergic only to Mountain Cedar and 66% were allergic to Mountain Cedar and other aeroallergens. As a group, patients allergic only to Mountain Cedar had significantly lower total IgE levels (84 IU/ml vs. 360), required much longer exposure intervals to cedar pollen before developing Mountain Cedar pollinosis (14.4 yr vs. 5.69), had less of a family history of allergic disease, had less of a history of asthma or eczema (11% vs. 39%), and developed allergic disease at a later age (39 yr vs. 13) when compared to patients with multiple allergies. These results suggest that the MC pollen may be unique in causing allergic rhinitis in patients who have no other sensitivities. A possible explanation may lie in the carbohydrate nature of the main allergen of the MC pollen, which may facilitate allergen transport through the respiratory tract mucosa and subsequent sensitization. (Ramirez 1984 ref.22073 7)

Reference:
Ramirez DA. The natural history of mountain cedar pollinosis.. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1984 Jan;73(1 Pt 1):88-93.




NON-IMMUNE REACTIONS


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OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE


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