Table 4

 Epidemiological studies and case reports of occupational asthma due to seafoods

Agent Occupation Subjects (n) Asthma prevalence (%) Other symptoms Skin prick or intradermal test
(% positive)
Other immunologic evidence
(% positive)
Specific bronchoprovocation test (% positive) Other evidence
Epidemiological studies and case reports of occupational asthma due to arthropods:
 CrabKing crab processors12 64 18613%ND60% (of random sample of 15)Precipitins: 60% of 15NDAcross shift spirometry
825Incidence of 2%/monthNDNDNDNDND
Snow crab processors18 65 30316%Rhinitis, skin rash, conjunctivitis22%ND72% (of 46 tested)PEFR + PC20
107Incidence of 2%/6 weeksRhinitisNDRAST: 6–8%NDSpirometry
Rock crab processors66 297%Rhinitis, conjunctivitis25%ND14% (of 14 tested)PC20
 PrawnPrawn processors19 5036%Rhinitis, itchy eyes and hands26%RAST: 16%100% (of 2 tested)ND
Precipitins: 62%
 Shrimp or clamProcessors36 562%Rhinoconjunctivitis16%RAST: 14%67% (of 3 tested)PC20
4%5%RAST: 7%
 ShrimpmealTechnician67 1NARhinitisPositive for shrimpRAST: positive for shrimp, crabPositive for shrimpND
 Lobster or shrimpFishmonger68 1NARhinitis, hay fever, urticariaPositive for lobster, shrimp, crabRAST: positive for shrimp, lobster, crab, crawfishPositive for lobster, shrimpND
 LobsterChef69 1NAUrticariaPositive for lobster, haddock, scallops, oyster, clam, codNDPositive for lobsterPC20
Epidemiological studies and case reports of occupational asthma due to molluscs:
 Cuttle fishDeep sea fishermen70 66Incidence of 1%/yDermatitis, conjunctivitisNDNDNDND
Fishermen71 50NDRhinitis, urticaria, eczemaNDNDNDSpirometry
 Mussel (?)Mussel openers72 22420%–23%NDNDNDNDAcross shift PEFR
 Mussel or crustaceansCook73 1NANDNDNDNDND
 Cuttle fish boneJewellery polisher74 1NAUrticariaPositiveNDPositiveND
 ClamCancer drug researcher75 1NARhinitisPositiveNDPositiveND
 Oyster (mother of pearl)Souvenir maker76 1NARhinitis, conjunctivitisAnaphylactic reaction to mother of pearlPrecipitins: negative to mussel, oyster, mother of pearlNDND
 AbaloneFisherman77 1NANDNDNDPositiveND
Epidemiological studies and case reports of occupational asthma due to Pisces (bony fish):
 SalmonFish processors20 2918%RhinitisNDRAST: 9% of all positiveNDPEFR
precipitins: 33% of all positive
 Trout (?)Fish processors37 8NARhinitisNDRAST: 100% of all positiveNDPEFR + PC20
Anti-endotoxin Ab: 13%
 FishmealFishmeal processors78 512%Skin rash, rhinitis23% to mix of pickling, cod, plaice, tunny, salmon, herring, sardinePrecipitins: 100% negative to cod, herring, sardine, plaice100% (of 1 tested) for fishmealNasal Provocation test
 Various fish (plaice, salmon, hake, sardine, anchovy, tuna, trout, sole, pomfret)Fish processors79 2NARhinoconjunctivitis100% to all speciesRAST: 100% of 2 positive to trout, anchovy, and salmon100% (of 2 tested) for hake tuna, plaice salmonPEFR + PC20
 Yellowfin fishDried fish processors80 NDNDRhinitis, dermatitisNDNDNDSpirometry
Epidemiological studies and case reports of occupational asthma due to other agents associated with seafood:
 Hoya (Sea squirt)Oyster farm workers30 141329%Rhinoconjunctivitis82% of 511 with asthmaRAST: 89% of 180 with asthma positive82% (of 17 tested)ND
Precipitins: negative
 AnisakisFishermen/fishmonger29 2818%Urticaria, angioedema46%RAST: 50% positiveNDND
 Red soft coralSpiny lobster fishermen81 729%Rhinitis, dermatitis, conjunctivitis2 of 2 with asthma positive to soft coralRAST: 1 of 2 positive to soft coral, lobsterNDND
 DaphniaFish food store keepers82 2NAND100%ND100%ND (of 2 tested)
 Marine spongeLaboratory grinder83 1NAUrticariaNDRAST: positive to D herbacea, other sponge, soft coralsNDAsthma attack at work
Precipitins: positiveD herbacea
HRT: positive toD herbacea
  • NA=not applicable; ND=not done; RAST=specific IgE; PEFR=peak expiratory flow rate; PC20=methacholine/histamine challenge test; HRT=histamine release test.