Authors: D Ngajilo, T Singh, E Ratshikhopha, M Jeebhay

Source: Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology. December 2018 Vol 31, No4

Summary: Exposure to wood dust has been shown to cause allergic skin and respiratory symptoms in woodworkers. We describe a case of a 53-year-old latex-allergic woodworker presenting with work-related contact urticarial and subsequent upper and lower symptoms associated with obeche wood (Triplochiton scleroxylon) exposure. Clinical evaluation of the patient was suggestive of an early-onset, work-related asthma and latex allergy with possible cross-reactivity to obeche wood. The difficulties associated with investigating and managing workers with occupational allergy and asthma related to wood dust exposure are illustrated. It is recommended that workers with wood dust-related airway and skin symptoms should be investigated thoroughly using a more extensive repertoire of immunological and pulmonological tests in order to confirm the diagnosis and institute appropriate management of these patients.