Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2002 Jan;88(1):52-8.

Effectiveness of and compliance to intervention measures in reducing house dust and cat allergen levels.

Author information

Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.



Allergic sensitization is a major risk factor in asthma.


To evaluate the effectiveness of and compliance to intervention measures in reducing levels of house-dust mite and cat allergen in the context of a randomized, controlled study in the primary prevention of asthma.


A total of 545 high-risk families were recruited prenatally and randomly assigned into the intervention group (n = 278) and the control group (n = 267). Intervention measures were instituted before birth of the infants and maintained for 12 months afterward in the intervention group and the control group received the usual care from their family physician. Dust samples were collected at six sites in the homes before birth and at specific intervals up to 24 months after birth for analysis of allergens. At 24 months, there were 244 families in the intervention group and 228 in the control group available for followup examination.


House-dust mite avoidance measures, consisting of encasement of mattresses, pillows, and duvets, and hot-water washing of bedding were effective in reducing mite allergen in parents' mattresses to one-third from baseline, significantly lower than the control group, even at 24 months. The use of an acaricide did not reduce mite allergen levels in carpets and upholstered furniture. Seventeen intervention families gave up their cats but six families acquired a new one over a period of 24 months, similar to control families. Cat allergen levels decreased in all sites in the homes of those who removed the cat, similar in both groups.


House-dust mite avoidance measures were effective in reducing house-dust mite allergen in mattresses, but not on floors. Reduction in cat allergen levels were evident for those families who got rid of their cats, but the advice to remove pets was not adhered to by most families.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center