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WAO Medical Book Reviews

April 2015

Allergenic Pollen: A Review of the Production, Release, Distribution and Health Impacts
Edited by: Mikhail Sofiev, Karl-Christian Bergmann
ISBN 978-94-007-4880-4 (Hard Cover)
ISBN 978-94-017-8483-2 (Soft Cover)
eISBN: 978-94-007-4881-1 (Online)

$129.00 USD / €83.29 EUR / £72.00 GBP (Print)
$99.00 USD / €119.81 EUR / £86.08 GBP (Online)
Available from: Springer

Delara Babaie, MD
Assistant Professor of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Mofid Children's Hospital
Tehran, Iran

The role of pollen in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases has been mentioned since the first description of hay fever in 1819. Asthma and rhinitis are the most common allergic diseases, which affect about 5 to 30% of the population in industrialized countries. The standardization of pollen count protocols and creation of coordinated networks help to precisely understand the effect of environmental changes on the production of allergenic pollens. On the other hand, advances in the airborne allergen measurement, aerobiology and allergy diagnostics, which have occurred more recently, clarified the details of the relationship between pollen and allergic diseases.

This book is based on a four-year effort of European scientists to summarize production, atmospheric distribution, and health impacts of allergenic pollens, as well as new developments in research on the modeling prospects and effects of climate change.

The book content is organized into seven chapters. Chapter number one introduces the role of pollens in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases.

Chapter 2 reviews the distribution and abundance of the 12 most important aeroallergenic pollens in Europe: Ambrosia, Alnus, Artemisia, Betula, Chenopodiaceae, Corylus, Cupressaceae/Taxaceae, Olea, Platanus, Poaceae, Quercus and Urtica/Parietaria and suggests top-down methods as the most probable way of obtaining all 12 pollen species.

Chapter 3 discusses the onset, course and intensity of the pollen season which vary from year to year. It can affect the quality of life of allergy sufferers.

Chapter 4 follows a detailed monitoring, modelling and forecasting of the pollen season by using three data sources which are directly related with aeropalynology: phenological observations, pollen counts and remote sensing of the vegetation activity. Measurement of the allergen content in pollen will be facilitated by new monitoring methods.

Chapter 5 reviews the present knowledge and previous developments of the pollen transport in the atmosphere. Dispersion modelling of pollens in the air can estimate concentrations from known source, and the source apportionment. The underlying processes of this phenomenon is still being debated.

The impact of pollen on human health is discussed in Chapter 6. Details of the factors which influence the threshold level of pollen to induce symptoms are explained in this chapter.

Chapter 7 aims to describe the ways that pollen information is being presented and disseminated to the general public, elsewhere, by the means of information and communication systems.

Assessment and Audience
This book is written for internists and pediatricians as well as specialists in allergy and immunology to increase the quality of the operational pollen forecasts.