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Vet Dermatol. 2008 Aug;19(4):209-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3164.2008.00676.x.

Evaluation of storage mite contamination of commercial dry dog food.

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1
UNIVET, SL, Facultat de Medicina, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain. pilar.brazis@uab.es

Abstract

Storage mites may be considered important allergens in dogs with atopic dermatitis. High sensitization rates to Tyrophagus, Acarus, and Lepidoglyphus species have been reported in atopic dogs, and dry pet food has been suggested as a potential source of storage mite exposure. The aim of the present study was to evaluate commercial dry dog food for contamination with storage mites, and how storage time and conditions could influence the risk of contamination. Ten different premium commercial dry dog foods formulated for skin disorders were selected. Food bags were opened and stored for 6 weeks under two different environmental conditions. At different time points, samples from each bag were collected and analysed by microscopy, guanine test, storage mite-specific traps, and a modified flotation technique. On opening, two storage mites identified as Acarus siro were isolated from one of the 10 bags by flotation technique, indicating that storage mites can be present in packaged dry dog food bags. After 5 weeks of storage under environmental conditions optimal for mite growth (23.2 +/- 2.1 degrees C and 71 +/- 5.6% of relative humidity), mites were detected by microscopic observation in nine of the 10 diets. When mites were identified by the flotation technique, Tyrophagus spp. were found to be the most common contaminating species. These results show that dry dog food can be a suitable substrate for storage mite reproduction, and that environmental and storage conditions may influence food contamination and mite development.

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