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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001 Sep;108(3):463-5.

Pet allergen levels in homes in Ghana and the United Kingdom.

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  • 1North West Lung Centre, Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, United Kingdom.


The frequency of cat and/or dog ownership in Ghana is comparable to that in the United Kingdom (approximately 50%). However, in Ghanaian communities pets are predominantly kept outdoors. Levels of pet allergens (Fel d 1 and Can f 1) in 100 Ghanaian homes (49 without pets) were compared with levels in 410 homes in the United Kingdom (258 without pets). Homes with pets in the United Kingdom contained much higher allergen levels than homes with pets in Ghana (for Fel d 1: mean difference, 275-fold; 95% CI, 129-fold to 594-fold; P <.0001; for Can f 1: mean difference, 75-fold; 95% CI, 33-fold to 169-fold; P <.0001). Homes without cats in the United Kingdom contained significantly higher levels of Fel d 1 than homes with cats in Ghana (mean difference, 3.7-fold; 95% CI, 2.0-fold to 7.2-fold; P <.0001). In the United Kingdom, homes with dogs contained 75-fold (95% CI, 47-fold to 139-fold) more Can f 1 than homes without dogs, whereas in Ghana, homes with dogs contained 3.1-fold (95% CI, 1.5-fold to 6.1-fold; P =.003) more Can f 1 than homes without dogs. In the United Kingdom, homes with cats contained 77-fold more Fel d 1 (95% CI, 46-fold to 129-fold; P <.0001) than homes without cats; there was no difference in cat allergen levels between homes with cats and homes without cats in Ghana. In conclusion, levels of pet allergens in Ghanaian homes with pets were (1) between 75-fold (dog) and 275-fold (cat) lower than levels in homes with pets in the United Kingdom and (2) lower than or comparable to levels in homes without pets in the United Kingdom.

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