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Abstract

IMMUNOLOGICAL STUDY ON ASTHMATIC PATIENTS WORKING IN OIL AND GAS REFINERIES IN KIRKUK, IRAQ

Mohemid M Al-Jebouri* and Zheeno N Taha

ABSTRACT

Background: Asthma is a global health problem affecting around 300 million individuals of all ages, ethnic groups and countries. It is estimated that around 250,000 people die prematurely each year as a result of asthma.[1,2,3] work-related exacerbation of asthma particularly in oil and gas refineries ranging from single transient exacerbations after an unusual exposure to daily work-related worsening that can mimic occupational asthma.[24] This disease might occur in up to 25% of working persons with asthma. Methods: This study was carried out at Kirkuk city in the North Oil Company (N.O.C.), which is a state company within the Ministry of Oil of Iraq. 100 subjects were included in this study from both genders. Their ages ranged from 25 to 65 years. 50 of them were attending allergy/ immunology center in Kirkuk city. The other 50 adult asthmatic patients were working in North Oil Company. Methods: All subjects included in this study were investigated for total and differential white blood cell count by using Quintus automatic haematological analyzer, serum interleukin-6 (IL-6), serum interleukin-8 (IL-8), serum tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) using ELISA technique, serum immunoglobulin A (IgA) and serum complement component 4 (C4) radial immunodiffusion plate. Results: Regarding differential white blood cells count, the mean of different lymphocytes were significantly different among the three groups of patients examined in North Oil and Gas Company patients, other patients and control group (P < 0.01).The values of Interleukins IL-6,IL-8 and TNF-α were also different with type of patient tested. The evaluation of immunoglobulins IgE was statistically different but IgA did not show a significant difference (P≥ 0.05). Complement C4 revealed a significant difference between patient groups tested and the mean level of serum C4 was (29.1), (35.9) and (18.7) in North Oil and Gas Company patients, Other patients and the control group respectively. Conclusions: There was a significant association between asthma and serum IL- 8 level between study groups. The highest level of serum IgE appeared in the other asthmatic patients and there was a significant relationship with oil and gas refineries asthma and control group while IgE level in oil & gas refinery patients was non-significant. The present study showed a highly significant difference in serum C4 level among groups studied.

Keywords: Quintus automatic haematological analyzer, immunoglobulins IgE.


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