Key Allergens

Plane trees are in the Platanaceae family of plants which are exclusively plane trees. The London plane tree is commonly planted in the UK, but other species are found mostly in South America and the Southern United States.

Plane tree pollen has 7 identified allergens including a Lipid Transfer Protein (LTP). These can cause serious allergic reactions in individuals sensitised to LTP.

They have also been shown to contain Polygalacturonase and enolase proteins as allergens.

Plane pollen also contains Profilin proteins, these are found in various foods and pollens.

Plane pollen is present in the UK in early Spring, peaking in April, it has high allergenicity. The small hairs on the fruit of the tree can induce asthma symptoms in those very allergic.

Associated Syndromes

An allergy to plane tree pollen is strongly associated with seasonal allergic rhinitis (hayfever).

A plane tree pollen allergy is also linked to asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and atopic dermatitis.

An allergy to the Lipid Transfer Proteins in plane tree pollen can be linked to LTP Syndrome.

Cross Reactivity

Other pollens which contain Lipid Transfer Proteins include wormwood and mugwort.

Foods verified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as containing LTPs include Kiwi, peanut, strawberry, sunflower seeds, walnut, apple, mulberry, banana, asparagus, pea, apricot, celery, lemon, chestnut, cabbage, cherry, mustard seeds, plum, tangerine, wheat, durum wheat, orange, almond, peach, corn, pear, pomegranate, raspberry, lettuce, green beans, lentils, lupin, hazelnuts, tomato and grape.

Other studies show that lipid transfer proteins have been food in onion, beetroot, broccoli, millet, grapefruit, quinces, figs, fennel, goji berry, parsnip, parsley, runner beans, butter beans, aubergine and blueberry.

Other pollens containing Polygalacturonase include cypress, cedar, oliveand various grasses. It is also found as a food allergen in papaya.

Enolase is found in pollen in various fungus, yeast, penicillin, ragweed, wormwood and some grasses. It is a food allergen in some species of fish and chicken.

Profilins are found in various pollens including pigweeds, ragweed, mugwort, sugar beet, birch trees, hemp, crocus, grass pollen, sunflower, olive, rice, plantain, poplar, mesquite, oak and maize. They are usually associated with food allergy and found in celery, peanut, soyabeans, walnut, lupin, almonds, mustard, hazelnut, kiwi, pineapple, chilli, melon, orange, strawberry, lychee, apple, banana, aubergine (eggplant), peach, pear, tomato, dates, cherry and carrot. Profilin proteins are also found in barley, sorghum and wheat.



Worcester Pollen Forecast

Allergy UK - Managing your asthma and your allergic rhinitis throughout the seasons

London Allergy & Immunology Centre - Pollen Allergy

Woodland Trust UK - London Plane

AAFA - Pollen Allergy in the US

Allergen Encyclopedia - Plane Tree

Articles and Journals

Method to develop a regional guide for the allergenic potential of tree pollen, 2024

Atmospheric pollen allergen load and environmental patterns in central and southwestern Iberian Peninsula, 2023

Allergenic tree pollen in Johannesburg and Cape Town as a public health risk: Towards a sustainable implementation framework for South African cities, 2023

The South African Pollen Monitoring Network: Insights from 2 years of national aerospora sampling (2019–2021), 2023

London Plane Tree Pollen and Pla A 1 Allergen Concentrations Assessment in Urban Environments, 2022

Urban allergy review: Allergic rhinitis and asthma with plane tree sensitization (Review), 2021

Impact of Plane Tree Abundance on Temporal and Spatial Variations in Pollen Concentration, 2020

Assessing pollination disservices of urban street-trees: The case of London-plane tree (Platanus x hispanica Mill. ex Münchh), 2020

Tree pollen allergens — an update from a molecular perspective, 2015

Purified allergens vs. complete extract in the diagnosis of plane tree pollen allergy, 2006

Airborne plane-tree (Platanus hispanica) pollen distribution in the city of Córdoba, South-western Spain, and possible implications on pollen allergy, 2004

Let me know if you found any of these interesting or useful. If you spot an article or research that you think is interesting you can message me or tag me on Facebook or Twitter - links at the bottom of the page.

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