, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 659–669 | Cite as

Pollen season identification for three pollen taxa in Thessaloniki, Greece: a 30-year retrospective analysis

  • Kostas KaratzasEmail author
  • Aggelos Tsiamis
  • Athanasios Charalampopoulos
  • Athanasios Damialis
  • Despoina Vokou
Original Paper


To examine the applicability of the recently proposed criteria by the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) for pollen season (PS) definition, we applied them to a 30-year time series of daily concentrations of cypress (Cupressaceae), olive (Oleaceae), and grass (Poaceae) airborne pollen from a Mediterranean city, Thessaloniki, Greece. These criteria led to PS definition for every year in the case of grasses, but they did not result to a defined pollen season in each year for 10% of the examined period in the case of cypress (Cupressaceae) and even for 60% in the case of olive (Oleaceae). Application of the EAACI thresholds to data series of Thessaloniki shows the need for an accurate analysis and revision of the symptom thresholds for PS definition for olive and cypress in the Mediterranean area. Given that the PS, as defined after the EAACI criteria, corresponds to only the part of the PS inducing allergy symptoms, a different term ‘allergy symptom-inducing pollen season’ is proposed so as to avoid confusion but also make clear that, depending on the purpose of the study, different criteria may be used for PS definition.


Allergy symptom-inducing pollen season Allergic rhinitis Cypress EAACI criteria Grasses Mediterranean Olive 


Authors’ contribution

KK initiated the study, made data analysis, and drafted the manuscript; AT made data analysis and PS calculations; AC, AD, and DV provided pollen data and expert support. All authors contributed to the writing of the manuscript and DV concluded the final version.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental Informatics Research Group, School of Mechanical EngineeringAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.Department of Ecology, School of BiologyAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  3. 3.Chair and Institute of Environmental MedicineUNIKA-T, Technical University of Munich and Helmholtz Zentrum München, Research Center for Environmental HealthAugsburgGermany

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