Goat epithelium

Further Reading

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Code: e80
Latin name: Capra hircus
Family: Bovidae
Common names: Goat
Direct or indirect contact with animal allergens frequently causes sensitisation.

Allergen Exposure

Geographical distribution
Goats are among the most common domesticated animals. They are managed for the production of milk, meat and wool, particularly in arid, semitropical or mountainous countries (where their numbers and extremely wide grazing range result in serious ecological problems). A large variety of Goat breeds serves different purposes. Breeds of Swiss origin are distinguished for milk, which is often used to make cheese; those of Asian origin are prized for their fibre; and meat Goats are associated especially with Spain, South America, Africa, and India. However, most breeds are highly adaptable and widely distributed. The Pygmy Goats of Western Africa are of increasing interest as laboratory and pet animals in the West. There are more than 460 million Goats worldwide, yielding more than 4.5 million tons of milk and 1.2 million tons of meat, besides mohair, cashmere, leather and dung; and more people consume milk and milk products from Goats worldwide than from any other animal. Goats rapidly revert to a feral state, and feral populations are found in areas as remote as the Galapagos Islands.
Goats are encountered in agricultural settings, in mainly mountainous regions of the wild, and through their consumer products (see under Geographical distribution).
The epidermal allergens from this animal have not yet been characterised.

Potential Cross-Reactivity


Clinical Experience

IgE-mediated reactions
Exposure to epidermal allergens from Goat may result in asthma and allergic rhinitis (1, 2).
Animal danders, e.g., Cow Dander, Guinea Pig whole pelt, Dog dander, and Horse and Goat dander, play an important role in the aetiology of bronchial asthma in Indian subjects (1).
Two hundred and sixty-three United Arab Emirates nationals with a respiratory disease suspected of being of allergic origin were submitted to SPT and RAST. It was shown that 8.3% were sensitised to Cat fur, 4.9% to Goat hair, and 0.7% to Rat hair and Mouse hair (2).
A postal questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 2,500 farmers throughout New Zealand. The results showed that that asthma prevalence was higher for Horse breeders/groomers (16.5%), Pig farmers (18.2%), poultry farmers (17.4%), and those working with Oats (17.4%). Hay fever was significantly higher in Deer and crop farmers, and farmers working with Horses and Goats; eczema was higher for Goat and Deer farmers (3).
Compiled by Dr Harris Steinman, harris@zingsolutions.com


  1. Gupta S, Bidani RK, Jhamb S, Agarwal MK. Role of animal danders as inhalant allergens in bronchial asthma in India. J Asthma 1996;33(5):339-48
  2. Lestringant GG, Bener A, Frossard PM, Abdulkhalik S, Bouix G. A clinical study of airborne allergens in the United Arab Emirates. Allerg Immunol (Paris) 1999;31(8):263-7
  3. Kimbell-Dunn M, Bradshaw L, Slater T, Erkinjuntti-Pekkanen R, Fishwick D, Pearce N. Asthma and allergy in New Zealand farmers. Am J Ind Med 1999;35(1):51-7


As in all diagnostic testing, the diagnosis is made by the physican based on both test results and the patient history.