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Your Environment. Your Health.

Publication Detail

Title: Distribution and determinants of house dust mite allergens in Europe: the European Community Respiratory Health Survey II.

Authors: Zock, Jan-Paul; Heinrich, Joachim; Jarvis, Deborah; Verlato, Giuseppe; Norback, Dan; Plana, Estel; Sunyer, Jordi; Chinn, Susan; Olivieri, Mario; Soon, Argo; Villani, Simona; Ponzio, Michela; Dahlman-Hoglund, Anna; Svanes, Cecilie; Luczynska, Christina; Indoor Working Group of the European Community Respiratory Health Survey II

Published In J Allergy Clin Immunol, (2006 Sep)

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Several studies in European homes have described allergen levels from the house dust mite species Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and to a lesser extent Dermatophagoides farinae, but geographic comparisons of exposure levels and risk factors have been hampered by a lack of standardized methods. OBJECTIVE: To study the distribution and determinants of the major house dust mite allergens Der p 1 and Der f 1 in 10 European countries using a common protocol. METHODS: During home visits with 3580 participants of the European Community Respiratory Health Survey II from 22 study centers, mattress dust was sampled and analyzed for Der p 1, Der f 1, and Der 2 allergen. Information on housing characteristics was obtained by both observations and interview. RESULTS: Der 1 and Der 2 allergens were detectable (>/=0.1 mug/g) in 68% and 53% of the samples, respectively. Large differences in allergen levels between study centers were observed, and geographic patterns for Der p 1 and Der f 1 were different. Low winter temperatures reduced Der p 1 rather than Der f 1. Important risk factors for high allergen levels included an older mattress, a lower floor level of the bedroom, limited ventilation of the bedroom, and dampness for Der p 1 but not for Der f 1. CONCLUSION: There are large qualitative and quantitative differences of house dust mite allergen levels in Europe, which can partly be explained by geographic and housing characteristics. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Mite allergen exposure may be reduced by replacing the mattress regularly and increasing ventilation of the bedroom, particularly in winter.

PubMed ID: 16950288 Exiting the NIEHS site

MeSH Terms: Allergens/immunology*; Animals; Antigens, Dermatophagoides/immunology*; Dermatophagoides farinae/immunology*; Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus/immunology*; Dust/immunology*; Epitopes/immunology*; Europe; Longitudinal Studies; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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