Hypersensitivity and allergic diseases in a group of workers employed in breeding insects for biological pest control.
On the basis of the results of a previous study and immuno-allergological tests, a group of 21 workers employed in breeding insects for biological pest control in Italy were studied to ascertain whether any new sensitizations to arthropods had occurred and whether any new allergic diseases were observed. The results confirmed a high sensitization to Ephestia kuehniella and to Orius sp. Sensitization to Tetranychus urticae and to Planococcus citri were observed, although to a lesser degree. It is concluded that the insects used in biological pest control are highly allergenic and that the protective devices used in this case were ineffective. The authors recommend the use of closed or semi-closed rearing chambers along with local ventilation equipment.