Impact of environmental nitrogen deposition on allergic disease burden.
The current rise in prevalence of allergies to aeroallergens is incompletely understood and attributed to interactions between environmental changes such as air pollution and climate warming, and lifestyle changes. One of the possible, yet unexplored, additional drivers of increasing aeroallergen and allergy prevalence is nitrogen deposition. Increased nitrogen deposition leads to eutrophication of our flora. It has been demonstrated to impact the composition of pollen and hence their potential allergenicity. In this project we hypothesize that increased nitrogen deposition leads to increased allergenicity of pollen (the project will focus on birch and grass pollen) and hence more frequent and severe sensitization to pollen. We will evaluate ex vivo the reactivity of patient (and healthy control) sera to pollen extracts grown in different (experimental or natural) environments adjusting for potential confounders. Using our approach we will be able to go beyond association and demonstrate causality (or not) and illustrate the impact of environmental nitrogen deposition on allergic disease burden.