Fluoro-edenite (FE) is an asbestiform mineral fiber spotted in the lava rocks excavated from a stone quarry in Biancavilla (Italy). The derived material had been employed locally for building purposes. Previous studies found evidence that exposure to asbestos may induce autoimmunity, with frequency of anti-nuclear autoantibodies (ANA). The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between FE exposure and autoimmune responses in an exposed population. For the study, 60 subjects living in the area of Biancavilla and 60 subjects as control group were randomly invited to participate. A free medical check, including spirometry and a high-resolution computer tomography chest scan, was given to all participants. ANA were determined by indirect immunofluorescence. On medical check, no subject showed any sign and/or symptoms of illness. Prevalence for samples positive to ANA were 70% (n = 42) and 25% (n = 15), respectively, for exposed and non-exposed subjects (p < 0.05). The presence of pleural plaques (PP) was found in 21 (30%) of the exposed subjects and in 2 (3%) of the non-exposed participants. PP subjects were always ANAs positive. In conclusion, as already it was observed with exposure to asbestos fibers, levels of ANA seemed to significantly increase in subjects who had been exposed to FE. Furthermore, all subjects showing PP were also ANA-positive. This first finding in subjects exposed to FE should encourage researchers to further investigate associations between autoimmune unbalance and environmental exposure to asbestiform fibers.
|Titolo:||Prevalence of anti-nuclear autoantibodies in subjects exposed to natural asbestiform fibers: a cross-sectional study|
LEDDA, CATERINA (Corresponding)
CALTABIANO, ROSARIO (Secondo)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|