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Vet Dermatol. 2011 Apr;22(2):162-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3164.2010.00931.x. Epub 2010 Nov 25.

House dust and storage mite contamination of dry dog food stored in open bags and sealed boxes in 10 domestic households.

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The University of Liverpool School of Veterinary Science, Leahurst Campus, Neston, UK.


Dry pet food is a potential source of exposure to house dust and storage mite allergens in canine atopic dermatitis. This study evaluated contamination of house dust and dry dog food stored in paper bags, sealable plastic bags and sealable plastic boxes in 10 households for 90 days using Acarex(®) tests for guanine, a Der p 1 ELISA and mite flotation. Acarex(®) tests were negative in all the food samples but positive in all the house dust samples. The Der p 1 levels and mite numbers significantly increased in food from paper bags (P = 0.0073 and P = 0.02, respectively), but not plastic bags or boxes. Mite numbers and Der p 1 levels were 10-1000 times higher in house dust than the corresponding food samples (P < 0.0001). There were significant correlations between Der p 1 in house dust and food from the paper (P < 0.0001) and plastic bags (P = 0.003), and mite numbers in house dust and food from the paper bags (P = 0.0007). Bedding and carpets were significantly associated with Der p 1 levels in house dust (P = 0.015 and P = 0.01, respectively), and food from the paper (both P = 0.02) and plastic bags (P = 0.03 and P = 0.04, respectively). Mites were identified in six of 10 paper bag, three of 10 plastic bag, one of 10 plastic box and nine of 10 house dust samples. These comprised Dermatophagoides (54%), Tyrophagus (10%; all from food) and unidentified mites (36%). Storage of food in sealable plastic boxes largely prevented contamination for 3 months. Exposure to mites and mite proteins in all the stored food, however, appeared to be trivial compared with house dust.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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