Aeropalynology and Allergenicity of Pollen in Selected Locations Within Lagos Metropolis, Nigeria
Airborne pollen grains and fern spores (aeroflora) are some of the major causative agents of allergies. However, data gathering on composition and distribution of these aeroflora across Nigeria is incipient. The aim of this study is to monitor the aeroflora in Lagos metropolis and determine the allergenicity of dominant aeroflora. To achieve this, aerosampling was done in Surulere, Ebute-Metta, University of Lagos, Akoka (UNILAG), Bariga and Gbagada. Aerosamples were collected and analysed monthly from January, 2013 to December, 2014. Aeroflora were identified and data obtained was correlated with weather parameters and allergy cases. Dominant aeroflora were freshly collected and their proteins were extracted and subjected to allergenicity tests. A total of 5174 pollen grains and 323 fern spores were collected in all the selected locations in 2013 while 4769 pollen grains and 488 fern spores were collected in the same locations in 2014. Dominant pollen grains recorded were those of Alchornea cordifolia, family Amaranthaceae, Casuarina equisetifolia, family Cyperaceae, family Poaceae, and Terminalia catappa. Pollen and spores counts (PSC) in Surulere, Ebute-Metta and Bariga showed significant negative correlation with relative humidity (p ≤ 0.05). PSC in UNILAG and Gbagada showed significant positive correlation with wheezing cough (p ≤ 0.05). Allergenicity tests revealed a total of 14 allergenic proteins, whereby 12 were newly identified. Results showed that individuals were most susceptible to the 58 kDa allergenic protein of Alchornea cordifolia pollen (84 %; 42 individuals). In conclusion, the general public can now be informed and educated on occurrence and frequency of aeroflora in the studied areas which will assist allergy sufferers in managing allergies. Furthermore, allergenic proteins identified can be used to develop immunotherapy drugs and aid allergy diagnosis, and treatment in Nigeria.