Hay fever and pollen
Hay fever is an allergic reaction that is caused by pollen from trees, grasses and herbaceous plants. When this pollen is dispersed by the wind, people with hay fever suffer from sneezing, red and itchy eyes and a stuffy nose.
Weather conditions determine when 'hay fever plants' flower and how much pollen they release into the atmosphere. Every year, the progression of hay fever symptoms can differ. The daily pollen concentration in the atmosphere in the Netherlands is measured by the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and Elkerliek Hospital in Helmond.
As part of the Nature’s Calendar observation programme, secondary school students and volunteers keep track of when various hay fever plants begin flowering. The students who conduct observations are also involved with the GLOBE Programme, an international education programme on the environmental sciences established in 1995 by Al Gore.
Knowledge about hay fever is limited
One plant species that is known world-wide for causing hay fever symptoms is Ambrosia. This species, which is an exotic in the Netherlands, produces large amounts of strongly allergenic pollen. Moreover, the plant flowers late in the year, so the hay fever season for people who are sensitive to Ambrosia can be up to two months longer. Ambrosia originated from North America and has become widespread in the Netherlands because its seeds are unintentionally present in birdseed and wildflower mixtures. By removing plants before they begin flowering, nuisance from the pollen can be prevented, and the species is less likely to spread.
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Publications on hay fever and pollen
Analysis of automatic image classification methods for Urticaceae pollen classificationNeurocomputing 522 (2023). - ISSN 0925-2312 - p. 181 - 193.
Neural networks for increased accuracy of allergenic pollen monitoringScientific Reports 11 (2021)1. - ISSN 2045-2322
Birch pollen related pear allergy : A single-blind oral challenge trial with 2 pear cultivarsNutrients 13 (2021)4. - ISSN 2072-6643
Cracking the cashew nut : Strategies to identify novel allergensWageningen University. Promotor(en): H.J. Wichers; H.F.J. Savelkoul, co-promotor(en): J.J. Mes; N.W. de Jong. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463955218 - p.
IgE cross-reactivity measurement of cashew nut, hazelnut and peanut using a novel IMMULITE inhibition methodClinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine 58 (2020)11. - ISSN 1434-6621 - p. 1875 - 1883.
The Beneficial Effect of Farm Milk Consumption on Asthma, Allergies, and Infections: From Meta-Analysis of Evidence to Clinical TrialThe Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice 8 (2020)3. - ISSN 2213-2198 - p. 878 - 889.e3.
The effect of isabelin, a sesquiterpene lactone from Ambrosia artemisiifolia on soil microorganisms and human pathogensFEMS Microbiology Letters 365 (2018)4. - ISSN 0378-1097
Cow's milk and immune function in the respiratory tract : Potential mechanismsFrontiers in Immunology 9 (2018)FEB. - ISSN 1664-3224
Immunological Characterization of Dutch Sesame Seed-Allergic PatientsInternational Archives of Allergy and Immunology 169 (2016)1. - ISSN 1018-2438 - p. 13 - 22.
Citizen science based symptom scores of allergic rhinitis to validate the grass pollen hay fever forecastEuropean Respiratory Journal 46 (2015)suppl 59. - ISSN 0903-1936