Occupational asthma (OA) can improve after cessation of exposure; however, some patients suffer from persistence or aggravation of their asthmatic symptoms. Here we report a case of a new sensitization to house dust mites during the follow-up period in a 37-year-old female patient with OA induced by cefteram pivoxil powder (cefteram powder). She was previously diagnosed with OA caused by inhalation of cefteram powder. Consequently, she left her job and had been well for 9 subsequent years. She began to experience aggravation of her rhinitis and asthmatic symptoms again several months prior to presentation. Her skin-prick test results had converted to strongly positive responses to two types of house dust mites. The serum levels of eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) and the total and specific immunoglobulin (Ig)E levels against the two types of house dust mites were elevated. An inhalation challenge test with Dermatophagoides farinae was performed, and significant bronchoconstriction (21.1% reduction in the forced expiratory volume in the first second) with asthma symptoms was observed at 10 minutes. To our knowledge, this is the first case demonstrating a new sensitization to house dust mites in a patient with OA caused by cefteram powder. Regular monitoring, including skin-prick tests and measurement of specific serum IgE/ECP levels, may help to screen potential cases.
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