In order to better understand the characteristics of bronchial asthma caused by chironomid midges, cross-reactivity of midges was examined in 163 asthmatics through observation of skin reactions and specific IgE and histamine release. Positive skin reactions were observed in 17 of 73 asthmatics (23.3%) for Chironomus plumosus, 89 of 276 (32.2%) of those for Tokunagayusurika akamusi, and 33 of 128 (25.8%) of those for Chironomus yoshimatsui. Two cases of 32 (6.3%) asthmatics for Chironomus plumosus, 16 of 144 (11.1%) of those for Tokunagayusurika akamusi, and 7 of 77 (9.1%) of those for Chironomus yoshimatsui showed a significant amount of histamine release (more than 15%).
Cross-reactivity was present for Chironomus plumosus, Tokunagayusurika akamusi, Chironomus yoshimatsui, by both skin tests and basophil histamine release. It is suggested that both the male and female of Chironomus plumosus have common antigenecity, and cross-reactivity was observed between them.