Allergen Update

Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

Predominant pollen:

Due to extreme variations in the weather at this site, the tree pollen season fluctuates significantly from year to year. The pollen seasons described here try to cover the time when each can occur.

Acer sp.- The maple season varies greatly which is mostly due to the effect of weather. Not only does the season start and end vary but the amount of pollen produced as well as the season length. The season can start from late April to mid-May and end mid to the end of May. Most years the counts are low and moderate. Occasionally a high count is observed.

Alnus sp.- Alder season can start from late March to mid-Apri and end mid to late June. The counts vary mostly from low to moderate with the occasional high. The alder season is highly sensitive to weather conditions. The highest counts occur from april to mid-June. They are usually considered important allergens.

Betula sp.- The start and end of the birch season can vary by as much as a month which is due to the effect of weather. The start of the season can occur from late April to mid-May and the end can occur from late May to late June. The counts can get in the high range.

Corylus sp.- The hazelnuts produce low and moderate counts. The season can start from the second week of April to the second week of May and end mid to late May. The counts can be in the low to moderate range. May cause allergic reactions in individuals who are highly sensitized.

Populus sp.- The Poplar, cottonwood and aspen season can start from early April to the end of April and end from early to late May. Some of the counts are very high and may cause allergic reactions.

Cupressaceae family- The cedars, junipers, and yews produce significant counts, mostly in the moderate range, with a few high counts. The season can start late March to mid-April and end late May to mid-June. Some high counts are observed. There is great fluctuation in the season due to the effect of weather. Probably of no significance in causing allergic reactions.

Fraxinus sp.- The ash pollen season can start from late April to mid-May and end late May to early June. Some years very high counts are observed but the season varies from year to yearin timing, season length and pollen levels. This is partially due to weather. Considered to be allergenic only in highly sensitized individuals.

Pinaceae family- This group includes the spruce, fir and pine trees. Very high counts are observed. The season can start early May to the third week of May and end mid to late July. There can almost be a month difference as to when the season can occur from year to year which is partially due to weather. This group is very important to those individuals who are sensitized.

Quercus sp.- The oak season can start from late April to the third week of May and end early to mid-June. Mostly low, with the occasional moderate, counts are observed. The timing of the season as well as to how much pollen is produced can vary a lot from year to year partially due to the effect of weather. Oaks are highly allergenic.

Ulmus sp.- The elm are important allergens. The season can start from early April to early May and end late April to late May. There is a large fluctuation from year to year for the season length, timing of the season and the amount of pollen produced. This is partially due to the effect of weather.

Salix sp.- The willows pollen season can start from mid-April to early May and end early to late June. There is a great variation in the season from year to year not only in when the season occurs but the amount of pollen produced. Some years very high counts are observed. Considered to cause allergic reactions in individuals who are sensitized.

Gramineae family- The grasses produce significant counts, usually in the low and moderate ranges with the occasional high counts in June and July. The main season can start from mid to late May and end early to mid-October.

Ambrosia sp.- Ragweed season is from late July to early October with only low counts observed.

Urticaceae sp.- Nettles and parietaria occur in significant numbers that may cause allergic reactions. The season is from mid-June to early September and the counts are in the low and moderate ranges.

Chenopodiaceae & Amaranthaceae- This group of weeds are similar microscopically and are not differentiated. They include some weeds which are considered allergenic. Low and moderate counts are observed from mid-June to late September.

Artemisia sp.- The sagebrush and mugwort season is from mid-July to mid-October with low and moderate counts observed. Certain species are considered highly allergenic.

Cruciferae sp.- The mustard and cabbage family are responsible for contact dermatitis and food allergies. They are not considered important in airborne allergies since they are mostly insect pollinated but a significant amount of pollen is observed in our samples at this location. The season can start around late June and lasts until mid-September. Mostly low, with the occasional moderate, counts are observed.

Predominant spores:

Diatrypaceae sp.- The counts are sporadic throughout the whole counting season. Very high counts can be observed from late March to mid-October. Not known to cause allergic reactions.

Erysiphe (Oospora) sp.- Powdery mildew - The main season is from late April to mid-October. Low to high counts are observed.

Leptosphaeria sp. & Leptosphaeria look-alikes- These two are grouped together since they are in the same class of fungi and are similar microscopically. The season starts early April and ends mid-October. The counts vary from day to day, which is probably due to the effect of weather. Very high counts are observed from July to mid-October. This group is important for those individuals who are sensitized.

Boletus sp.- The counts for this spore are sometimes very sporadic with some high counts observed. It may be of significance in causing allergic reactions. The season is from mid-June to the end of September.

Coprinus sp.- This mushroom can produce some very high counts from late May to mid-October. It is considered an important allergen.

Ganoderma sp.- This bracket fungus can produce high counts from mid-June to early October. It is considered an important allergen.

Uredinales sp.- The rusts do occur in high numbers but not enough is known about their significance in causing allergic reactions. The main season is from late May to mid-October.

Ustilaginales sp.- The smuts can reach high counts, but allergenic properties are unknown. The season is from mid-April to mid-October with some very high counts.

Alternaria sp.- The counts do get high and some species are known to cause allergic reactions. The season is from May to mid-October.

Penicillium sp. & Aspergillus sp.- These spores are found throughout the whole counting season and are probably present in significant numbers beyond that. Significant counts are observed from late March to late fall.

Botrytis sp.- This may be a significant allergen, and high counts are observed. The season is sporadic from late April to early October.

Cladosporium sp.- The most abundant spore found throughout the whole season. Some species are known to cause allergic reactions. This spore exists all year round but very high counts are known to occur from March to well into late fall.

Epicoccum sp.- Some species are known to cause allergic reactions. The season is from the end of April to mid-October with low and moderate counts observed.

Fusarium sp.- Counts are very sporadic throughout the whole counting season. The majority of the season occurs from May to the end of September with low and moderate counts.

Helicomyces sp.- Season is from May to the end of September producing low to very high counts. The season is very sporadic. Allergenic properties are unknown.

Pithomyces sp.- Season produces low to moderate counts, with a few high counts observed, from mid-June to the end of September. Allergenic properties are unknown.

Caloplaca sp.- The season is sporadic from late March to early October. Allergenic properties are unknown.

Drechslera sp.- The counts are mostly in the low range. This is a late summer and fall spore, July to early October. There are other related genera, which are also found in air samples that can cause respiratory problems. One example is Bipolaris sp.

Stemphylium sp.- The season occurs mostly from July to the end of September with occasional moderate counts observed.

Myxomycetes- Low and moderate counts are observed from late March to mid-October. Some moderate and high counts are observed.

Last Updated: 3 March 2015

The information presented here is designed to inform, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient and a medical professional.

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