Table 2--Biological Agents Associated with Occupational Asthma

Agent Name

Other Name or Comments

Industry or Occupation

Animal-Derived Proteins
Frog   Frog catcher
Egg protein   Egg producer
Milk protein Casein Dairy industry, Tanner,
Farm animals Animal dander Agricultural worker, Poultry worker, Butcher
Laboratory animals   Laboratory worker
Bat guano Bat droppings Various
Bovine serum albumin   Laboratory worker
Deer dander   Farmer
Endocrine glands   Pharmacist
Ivory dust   Ivory worker
Mink urine   Farmer
Monkey dander   Laboratory worker
Anisakis simplex (nematode)   Chicken breeder; Fish monger
Aquatic Animal Allergens
Hoya Sea-squirt Oyster farm worker
Crab Snow crab Snow crab processor
Prawn   Prawn processor
Lobster   Fish shop worker
Fish   Trout processor, deep-sea fisher
Shrimpmeal   Technician
Red soft coral Dendronephthytia nipponica Fisherman
Daphnia Water flea (a small freshwater crustacean.) Fish food storage worker
Nacre Mother-of-pearl Nacre (mother-of-pearl) button maker
Cuttle-fish bone   Fisherman
Marine sponge   Laboratory grinder
Biological Enzymes
Esperase   Detergent industry
Fungal amyloglucosidase & hemicellulase   Baker
Fungal amylase   Baker
Papain   Pharmaceutical
Egg lysosyme   Pharmaceutical
Flaviastase   Pharmaceutical
Subtilisins   Detergent industry
Pancreatin   Pharmaceutical
Pepsin   Pharmaceutical
Trypsin   Plastic and pharmaceutical
Bromelin   Pharmaceutical
Serratial peptidase   Pharmaceutical
Fungal pectinase & glucanase   Food Processing
Fungal lactase   Formulating and Packaging
Fungal xylanase   Laboratory workers
Phytase   Animal-feed mixers
Insect-Derived Allergens
L. Caesar larvae   Angler
Grain mite   Farmer, grain storage worker
Locust   Laboratory worker
Screw worm fly   Flight crew
Cricket   Laboratory worker
Moth   Entomologist
Butterfly   Entomologist
Echinidorus larva Echinodorus plamosus Aquarium keeper
Fruit fly   Laboratory worker
Silkworm   Silk worker
Sericin Silk gum; gelatinous protein on raw silk Hairdresser
Fowl mite   Poultry worker
Barn mite   Farmer
Acarians (mites) Panonychus Ulmi, P. citri Apple and citrus growers
Sheep blowfly   Technician
Larva of silkworm   Sericulture
Lesser mealworm   Grain and poultry worker
Mexican bean weevil   Seed house worker
Bee moth   Fish bait breeder
Honeybee   Honey processor
Beetles Coleoptera Museum curator; Wool worker; Mechanic in rye plant;
Chironomid midges Bloodworms Fish-food factory workers
Ground bugs   Bottling worker
Mealworm larvae   Fish-bait handlers
Sewer fly   Sewage plant workers
Wheat weevil   Millworkers
Plant-Derived Allergens
Flour (wheat, rye and soya)   Bakers & millers
Tobacco leaf   Tobacco manufacturer
Lycopodium Moss spores; A fine yellow powder used as an absorbent and lubricant; Condom manufacturer
Henna   Hairdresser
Garlic   Food packager
Onion   Homemakers
Tea   Tea processor
Castor bean   Oil industry
Coffee bean (green)   Food processor
Grain dust   Grain elevator worker
Latex   Glove manufacturer
Allergens, flowers

Limonium tataricum--floral worker;
Decorative flowers--floral worker;
Spathe flowers--floral worker;

Baby's breath (Gypsophila paniculata)--florist;
Cyclamen (flowering plants)--florists;

Roses--rose grower;

Bells of Ireland (Molucella laevis)--grower;

Allergens, garden and greenhouse

Bell peppers--greenhouse workers;

Amaryllis (Belladonna lily)--greenhouse worker;
Chrysanthemum--greenhouse worker

Solamum melongena (eggplant)--greenhouse worker;

Stepanotis floribunda--greenhouse workers;

Umbrella tree (Schefflera)--landscape gardener;

Grass juice--gardener;

Phoenix canariensis (canary palm pollen)--gardener;

Weeping fig--plant keeper;

Lathyrus odoratus (sweet pea)--greenhouse worker;



Tetranychus urticae (red spider mite)--farmers; greenhouse workers;

Amblyseius cucumeris (predatory mite used to control thrips, a common pest of bell peppers)--horticulturists;

Allergens, baking industry

Flour (wheat, rye and soya)--bakers or millers



Lathyrus sativus (grass pea)--flour handlers;

Soybean lecithin--bakers;

Saccharomyees cerevisiae (baker's yeast)--baker;

Allergens, processing plant extracts

Rose hips--pharmaceutical worker;

Herb material--herbal worker;

Licorice root--herbalist;

Sarsaparilla root--herbal tea worker;

Brazil ginseng--medicinal plant processor;
Voacanga africana (small tropical African tree used to produce drugs) --spouse of chemist working in pharmaceutical company;

Passiflora alata & Rhamnus purshiana--pharmacy technician;


Allergens, spice processing

Spices--spices processing;
Saffron spice--saffron processors;
Fenugreek--food industry;
Aniseed--food industry;

Allergens, food processing

Chicory--vegetable wholesaler;

Carob bean--jam factory;
Pectin--Christmas candy maker

Cacoon seed--decorator;

Onion seed--seed packing;
Fennel seed--sausage processing;

Courgette (zucchini)--fruit warehouse;
Aromatic herbs--butcher;
Olive oilcake--oil industry;

Peach--factory worker;
Green bean--homemaker;
Asparagus--food processor;

Swiss chard--housewives;
Mushroom--mushroom soup processor;

Sunflower pollen

Hops--brewery chemist

Vegetable Gums
Guar   Carpet manufacturer
Karaya   Hairdresser
Acacia   Printer
Tragacanth   Gum importer
Wood Dusts
Abiruana Lacuma spp. (Pouteria spp.)  
African maple Triplochiton scleroxylon  
African zebra Microberlinia spp.  
American mahogany Swietenia mahogani;  
Antiaris Antiaris africana Door manufacturing
Ash Fraxinus americana  
Australian blackwood Acacia melanoxylon Furniture manufacturing
Brazilian walnut Cordia goeldiana HUBER; Furniture manufacturing
Cabreuva Myyrocarpus fastigiatus Fr. All. Parquet floor layer
California redwood Sequoia sempervirens Wood carver, carpenter
Cedar of Lebanon Cedra libani  
Central American Walnut Juglans olanchana  
Cinnamon Cinnamomum Zeylanicum  
Cocabolla Dalbergia retusa  
Colophony Gum rosin; wood rosin; tall oil rosin; abietic acid  
Eastern white cedar Thuja occidentalis Sawmill worker
Ebony Diospyros crassiflora  
Fernambouc Caisalpinia echinata Bow making
Iroko Chlorophora excelsa Carpenter
Kejaat Pterocarpus angolensis  
Kotibe Nesorgordonia papverifera  
Makore Tieghemella heckelii Carpenter
Mukali Angineria robusta  
Oak Quercus spp.  
Pau Marfim Balfourodendron riedelianum Woodworker
Phillipine mahogany Swietenia macrophylla;  
Quillaja bark   Factory to produce saponin
Ramin Gonystylus bancanus Woodworker
Tanganyika aningre    
Western red cedar Thuja plicata (Plicatic acid has been identified as the low-molecular-weight chemical sensitizer.) Carpentry, furniture making, cabinetmaking, sawmill worker
Mold & Algae
Dictyostelium discoideum   Technicians
Aspergillus niger   Technicians
Aspergillus   Beet sugar workers
Aspergillus alternaria   Baker
Trichoderma koningii   Sawmill workers
Plasmopara viticola   Agricultural workers
Chorella   Pharmacists
Neurospora   Plywood factory worker
Chrysonilia sitophila   Logging worker
Rhizopus nigricans   Coal miner

Permission to use table from Moira Chan-Yeung. For the up-to-date version, see


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  Revised May 30, 2018

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