[Red soft coral-induced allergic symptoms observed in spiny lobster fishermen].
Among spiny lobster fishermen on the Pacific coast of Miyazaki Prefecture, the authors found two cases with bronchial asthma due to occupational sensitization with red soft corals (Dendronephthytia nipponica). In this report are presented these two cases, and the results of further investigation from allergic viewpoint on 72 subjects of the same occupation. Among these fishermen, such symptoms as sneezing, nasal discharge, cough, asthmatic attacks, conjunctival hyperamia, and dermatitis on removal of catches (red soft corals) from a dragnet were seen during spiny lobster fishing season, from September to mid-April. These symptoms did not develop on days when no soft corals (marine coelenterate) were caught in the lobster net. From a survey conducted with questionnaires all subjects of fishermen had conjunctival and skin manifestations, 9% of them had bronchial asthma and 39% of them complained of symptoms of rhinitis on exposure to red soft corals. Intracutaneous test with red soft coral extract in the asthmatic fishermen showed strongly positive for immediate and delayed type reactions, whereas in ten asthmatics engaged in other occupation negative for delayed reaction and occasionally positive for immediate reaction. And in all of five healthy subjects the cutaneous reaction of both types were quite negative. These findings suggest that red soft corals are both allergenic and irritating to humans. The allergic reactions due to red soft corals are considered to be a kind of occupational allergy that has arisen from alterations in work condition.
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