The prevalence of respiratory health effects such as allergies and asthma is high among seafood processing workers. This is associated with exposure to complex seafood bioaerosols, consisting of several components including allergens, proteins, enzymes, and microorganisms.

The current recommendation in the seafood industry is to keep the level of bioaerosols in the work atmosphere as low as possible. However, our knowledge of the composition and the contribution of potentially harmful agents in seafood aerosols is limited.

There is also a knowledge gap regarding the way different aerosol components, individually and in combination, affects the immunological balance in the lungs. This balance plays a crucial part in the body’s response to bioaerosol exposures, determining whether it becomes allergic or non-allergic.

Characterizing and quantifying

In order to examine the biological exposure in the seafood industry, STAMI will analyse the bioaerosol in the prawn industry.

Characterizing and quantifying the different allergens and microorganisms in the work atmosphere will contribute to the identification of relations between biological exposure and the worker’s individual immune response.

Thus, this project will help identify preventive measures to reduce health-hazardous exposure within the seafood industry.

Project objectives

  • Characterize the composition of bioaerosols and increase the knowledge about adverse health effects for prawnseafood industry workers.
  • Identify relations between bioaerosol exposure, immunological response, and reported respiratory health effects in exposed workers
  • Identify the parts of the production line that should be prioritized when implementing bioaerosol-reducing measures
  • Establish reliable and validated models to investigate immunological effects of bioaerosol exposure


Collaboration partners: Sjømat Norge, Universitetssykehuset Nord-Norge, (UNN, Tromsø), Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST, Luxembourg), Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH, Luxembourg).

Project manager: Johanna Samulin-Erdem, Scientist

Project group:

  • Fikirte Debebe Zegeye
  • Anne Straumfors
  • Pål Graff
  • Anani K. Johnny Afanou
  • Steen Mollerup
  • Karl-Christian Nordby
  • Kari Larssen-Aas