Marqueurs précoces non invasifs de l'inflammation des voies aériennes dans les métiers à risque d'asthme professionnel : Etude dans une population d'apprentis boulangers, pâtissiers et coiffeurs

Abstract : Background and objectives: Occupational asthma (OA) is the most frequent work-related lung disease in industrialized countries. More than 300 agents, either of high molecular weight (such as flour, laboratory animal...) or of low molecular weight (isocyanates, alkalin persulfates...) have been reported to cause occupational asthma. The socio-economic consequences of OA are important and poorly compensated by the occupational diseases mitigation system. Considerable efforts of prevention are made in industrial nations. Early identification of subjects at risk of OA represents a major aspect of this prevention. Airways inflammation is the first and key expression of occupational asthma. It is investigated by means of several tests such as bronchial biopsy, assessment of bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR) to specific occupational agents, non specific BHR to a chemical stimulus. But these examinations are invasive, time consuming, difficult to implement away from medical facilities. Recently, non invasive tests have been proposed such as measurement of fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FENO), and cellular and molecular analysis of lavage nasal fluid. The MIBAP project (Markers of Bronchial Inflammation in Occupational Asthma) takes place in this setting. Its main objective is to examine the performance of a battery of non invasive tests likely to detect early airways inflammation that might eventually develop into OA. Material and methods: It is a prospective follow-up study of 441 bakers, pastry-makers and hairdressers apprentices in order to evaluate the airways inflammation during their 2-year apprenticeship period. The methacholine challenge test was used the "gold standard" to evaluate the airways inflammation. The other medical examinations whose association with airways inflammation have been studied are a clinical questionnaire, measurement of FENO, spirometry and measurement of respiratory impedance, count of eosinophil cells in nasal lavage fluid, and sensitization to common and occupational allergens by skin prick test. Results: Subjects, all volunteers, are 17 years old on average. Among them, 90 (20.0%) quit for several reasons, unrelated to the study outcome. Among work-related respiratory conditions, only asthma-like symptoms increased significantly since the the beginning of the study. While atopy (sensitization to commons allergens) remained stable, sensitization to occupational allergens increased from 6.4% to 9.6% (p=0.01) during the study. Incidence of BHR was 18.2% over all subjects; 7 months after the beginning of the training, the incidence rate among bakers and pastry-makers was statistically greater than among hairdressers (difference of 0,206 case per 100 person-yaers [CI = 0.01 - 0.40]). The increase of FENO levels is correlated with occurrence of BHR during the follow-up period (OR = 2.0 CI 95% = 1.21-3.32), regardless of atopy (increase of 21.6% and of 3.8% median FENO respectively for non-atopic and atopic subjects). Atopy when engaging in the training programme was associated with incidence of BHR among bakers and pastry-makers, not among hairdressers. Conversely, sensitization of hairdressers to alkaline persulfates at the end of the follow-up was related with occurrence of BHR. Discussion and conclusion: The number of subjects lost to follow-up was reasonably low (about 20%) for this kind of longitudinal study, compared with other similar works, which is in favour of the acceptability of the tests. The difference in the kinetics of BHR according to the training track might relate to differences in the mechanisms of sensitization between LMW and HMW agents. The latter involve IgE dependant processes while the mechanisms at hand with the former are yet to be elucidated. To date, no study has been published concerning the association between the increase of FENO and the occurrence of BHR. Further studies are necessary to confirm these results, before usage of FENO as a means for early detection of subjects at risk of OA be recommended.
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Mohamed Paul Tossa. Marqueurs précoces non invasifs de l'inflammation des voies aériennes dans les métiers à risque d'asthme professionnel : Etude dans une population d'apprentis boulangers, pâtissiers et coiffeurs. Médecine humaine et pathologie. Université Henri Poincaré - Nancy 1, 2009. Français. ⟨NNT : 2009NAN10070⟩. ⟨tel-01748394⟩

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