US Air Force  

Air Force Public Health

Total Force Integration

Integrity Service Excellence

USAF -- Public Health Information and Resources

Home Arthropod-Borne Diseases Arthropod Taxonomy CBRNE    Communicable and Pandemic Diseases
Deployment Medicine Disease Surveillance  Epidemiology Force Health Management  Food-Borne Illnesses
Hearing Conservation Helminthology Infectious Diseases Medical Entomology 
Medical Intelligence Occupational Health   Parasitology Travelers' Health Tropical Medicine Zoonotic Diseases Disclaimer

Allergic Sensitivities

Arthropod Infestations

Bacterial Diseases

Bites and Scratches

Cestode Zoonoses

Fungal Infections

Nematode Zoonoses

Protozoan Diseases

Rickettsial Diseases

Trematode Zoonosis

Viral Diseases


Zoonotic Diseases

Allergic Sensitivities

Allergic skin and respiratory reactions are quite common in personnel working with laboratory animals. Many animals are implicated including the cat, dog, horse, rabbit, rat, mouse, hamster, gerbil, guinea pig, and NHP. Up to 8% of clients with budgies are affected. Hypersensitivity reactions include: (1.) Nasal congestion (2.) Runny nose (3.) Sneezing (4.) Itching of eyes (5.) Angioedema (6.) Asthma (7.) A variety of skin manifestations (localized urticaria and eczema) Maximal allergenic activity in humans resulted from the albumin fraction of pelt extracts from rats, mice, and rabbits. The fraction of G. pig extract with maximum allergic activity seems to be a prealbumin. Two major allergens in mouse serum, skin, and urine have been identified. *THE MAJOR URINARY PROTEIN COMPLEX IS ONE OF THE MOST RECENT ALLERGENS TO BE IDENTIFIED FROM MOUSE PELTS AND SKIN. Suggests that a possible cause of sensitization in lab personnel is dispersal of urinary protein from litter in mouse cages.


History Physical Exam Pulmonary Function Tests Skin Testing Laboratory Tests (a.) CBC (b.) Immunoglobulins and IgE antibody specific to one allergen as measured by the RAST (Radioallergosorbent Test) (c.) Nasal smears for eosinophilia (d.) Serum precipitants to specific allergens


Pharmacologic treatment Allergen Immunotherapy Complete avoidance of the antigen Reducing exposure to offending antigen (a.) Reduction of direct animal contact time (b.) Increasing room ventilation (c.) Exhaust hoods (d.) Filter caps on cages (e.) Protective clothing, masks, and respirators.