Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1991;17(4):276-280    pdf


Histamine and endotoxin contamination of hay and respirable hay dust.

by Siegel PD, Olenchock SA, Sorenson WG, Lewis DM, Bledsoe TA, May JJ, Pratt DS

Three distinct samples collected from a barn in which an outbreak of respiratory problems occurred were examined for possible etiologic agents. No causal relationship could be established from the results of this study; however histamine concentrations as high as 0.5 ng/mg for bulk hay (in the absence of measurable creatinine levels) along with 6138.3 endotoxin units/mg of hay were present in the samples. Both endotoxin and histamine could be recovered from respirable hay dust. The authenticity of the histamine found in the hay was evaluated with high-performance liquid chromatography and radioimmunoassay. Histamine release caused by hay extracts was evaluated with the use of leukocytes from the farmer and a referent. Histamine is known to modulate the immune system, but the role of occupational or environmental exposure to histamine in respiratory disease is unknown.