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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1989 Apr;83(4):776-83.

Correlations between levels of mite and cat allergens in settled and airborne dust.

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  • 1Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. 55905.


Thirty homes in Rochester, Minn., 20 of which housed cats, were studied to compare cat and mite allergen concentrations in airborne and settled dust. With Air Sentinels in the bedroom and living room for airborne collections, and a Sample Vac for collections from living room carpet and bedroom mattress, immunochemical quantifications of each were made with various radiometric assays with polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies. The most significant correlations were found between airborne mite in the bedroom and living room (p less than 0.001) and airborne mite in the bedroom and dust from the bedroom mattress (p less than 0.001). Most houses had specific epitopes of both Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and D. farinae, but D. farinae was present in greater amounts. In seven houses we found greater than 10 micrograms of group I mite allergen per gram of settled dust, indicating that some houses in Minnesota have concentrations of mite allergens high enough to cause allergic disease, even in the winter. Clinical interpretation of these data on air levels is hampered by uncertainty as to whether symptoms are more closely related to average steady-state exposure, which we measured, or to brief heavy concentrations. Further epidemiologic studies are needed to define the concentration of mite and cat allergens in the air that are risk factors for allergic disease. The concentration of cat allergen correlated with mite allergen in the air, but not in settled dust, presumably reflecting the fact that both are influenced by ventilation rate.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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